A MAN head-butted another nightclubber in the face because he drunkenly thought he was hanging around a lot with him and his friends, a court heard.
Jandean Hyland (26) left the victim with two black eyes and bruising to his face following the assault.
Judge Dermot Dempsey ordered Hyland to pay €1,250 compensation to the victim and said he would consider leaving him without a conviction.
The judge also described Hyland as a "thug" who had put the victim through an ordeal due to his own "paranoia".
Hyland, of Ryans Park, Duleek, Co Meath, admitted before Swords District Court to seriously assaulting another man at Home nightclub in Balbriggan on November 3 last year.
Gda Paul McGeough said the victim was heading to the cloakroom at the end of the night when Hyland had approached him.
The pair exchanged words, and then Hyland head-butted him twice in the face.
Gda McGeough said the victim suffered two swollen eyes as well as bruising to his cheeks and nose.
He received medical treatment from his doctor and has since made a full recovery from his injuries, which were all soft tissue.
Gda McGeough said he later looked at CCTV footage of the assault and it showed the incident exactly as the victim had described it.
A photo of the victim's injuries as well as a medical report were handed in to the judge.
Defence lawyer Patrick Jackson said Hyland cooperated fully with gardai and admitted during interview that he had assaulted the man.
Mr Jackson said Hyland was out socialising with his girlfriend and some friends.
He had been drinking, and wrongly thought the victim was hanging around a lot with his friends.
The court heard Hyland was well aware he had acted wrongly and was very sorry for his behaviour.
Gda McGeough said the victim was off work for several days due to his injuries.
He has fully recovered from the assault but is now more wary when he is out socialising.
Mr Jackson said Hyland, who is currently out of work and on social welfare, had saved €500 compensation for the victim.
Judge Dempsey said €500 was not sufficient and said if Hyland paid €1,250 compensation to the victim he would consider leaving him without a conviction.