Thursday, November 17, 2022

Eimear Dodd

A man who used a hammer to hit his victim on the head has been handed a 16-month prison sentence.

Ramadan Kulla (62), of Tory Square, Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing harm on March 25th, 2016 at the Westend Retail Park, Blanchardstown. He has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since the incident.

Imposing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Thursday, Judge Nolan said a custodial sentence was required, given the seriousness of the case. He imposed a three-year sentence with the final 20 months suspended.

Garda Michael McClean told Garret Baker SC, prosecuting, that the victim was having coffee with friends on the day in question, when he was approached by Kulla.

The accused took a claw hammer from his jacket, with which he hit the victim on the head. The victim recalled being covered in blood, but does not remember much of the incident.

Another witness saw Kulla come up to the victim, saying he had business with the man. The pair struggled after Kulla struck him, during which time the victim managed to get hold of the hammer. The victim then struck Kulla on the head.

When gardaí arrived, they observed Kulla was injured and covered in blood.

Both men were taken to hospital for treatment and the victim required three stitches to his head. A medical report was handed into the court.

Self-defence

The victim told gardaí he knew Kulla from his town in Albania, but did not know why Kulla had assaulted him.

Kulla was arrested and made admissions to gardaí, in which he explained why he had struck the victim.

Gardaí also retrieved CCTV of Kulla in a shop buying the hammer before the attack.

A victim impact statement was handed into the court, but not read aloud. Mr Baker said the victim suffered from depression and high blood pressure following the incident.

Gda McClean agreed with John Moher BL, defending, that the victim had managed to get hold of the hammer and struck Kulla in an act of self-defence.

His client suffered a head injury, which he “brought on himself”, Mr Moher said, adding the offence goes back some years when his client was aged in his mid-fifties.

His client perceived a grievance, which he felt was strong, and had also sought to justify his actions when interviewed by gardaí.

“To take matters into his own hand was a serious step, whatever the perceived grievance,” Mr Moher said.

Before moving to Ireland in 2001, Kulla had worked in Greece and Belgium. He has three adult children and family members were present in court to support him.

Mr Moher asked Judge Nolan to be as lenient as possible in the circumstances.

Judge Nolan said Kulla seemed to have a grievance for an unknown reason against the victim. Kulla had brought the hammer prior to the incident and approached the victim with the intention of hitting him.

He noted the “excellent mitigation” in Kulla’s favour, including that he has lived in the State for many years without coming to garda attention and that it is unlikely that he will re-offend.

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