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Two month jail sentence for man who assaulted hostel staff member

His defence said: 'I am told that when he takes alcohol it impacts on his mental health and causes him to lash out'

A man who assaulted a member of staff at a hostel in Newry has been sentenced to two months in prison.

The 55-year-old’s solicitor told court: “The catalyst for this behaviour is that he took alcohol. I am told that when he takes alcohol it impacts on his mental health and causes him to lash out.”

Paul Michael McCartan, of no fixed abode, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to common assault at Newry Magistrates’ on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on June 22, at 7.20pm, police received a report from the Simon Community hostel in Newry that the defendant was becoming aggressive with staff and residents.

Officers spoke to one member of staff, who stated that McCartan had pushed her and that she had feared for further violence.

The defendant was subsequently arrested for the offence which is before the court.

Prosecution submitted that McCartan had six entries in his record, however, these dated back to the 1980s and were not relevant to this charge.

Defence solicitor John Rocks stated: “I have been in contact with the nursing staff at Maghaberrry. They have stated that Mr McCartan is a diagnosed schizophrenic.

“He had been leaving in assisted living. This will certainly have an impact on where he is to go upon his release from prison.”

He added: “The catalyst for this behaviour is that he took alcohol. I am told that when he takes alcohol it impacts on his mental health and causes him to lash out.”

District Judge Eamonn King sentenced the defendant to two months in prison for the single charge before the court.

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