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Son headbutted guard in row at health centre

A TEEN who headbutted a medical centre security man thought staff were being disrespectful to his mother, a court heard.

Terence Apala (18) and his mother were being escorted out when he turned on the security guard. The victim was left with a bloody nose and was off work for a week with stress.

Apala was ordered to pay €300 to the victim.

Apala, of Castlecurragh Park in Blanchardstown, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to seriously assaulting a security man.

He also admitted threatening and abusive behaviour and resisting arrest at Damastown Health Centre on June 16 last.

Garda Kevin Woods said Apala and his mother were late for an appointment and they were put to the end of the queue.

Garda Woods said Apala became verbally abusive and was asked to leave the medical centre. He headbutted a security man as he and his mother were being led from the building.

The court heard the defendant's mother's social welfare payment had been stopped, and they were trying to sort out the matter. It was explained to them that they were in the wrong place but the conversation became heated, and Apala assaulted the security man.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming said Apala is from France, but has lived in Ireland with his mother for four years.

He recently completed his Leaving Certificate, and plans to return to Paris to study international business.

Mr Fleming said Apala's parents are separated, and he is very protective of his mother. He thought she was being disrespected and treated badly by staff, and he acted in such a way to help her. The court heard Apala now realises his behaviour was totally unacceptable.

Judge Anthony Halpin told the defendant that if he has a grievance he should make a complaint to the relevant authority, and it will be dealt with in a proper fashion.

The judge will apply the Probation Act if the compensation is paid.