A Portarlington man described by Judge Tony Hunt as someone who meets “trouble with aggression” was given 240 hours’ community service for headbutting another man over an alleged drug debt.
Lucian Belelie, 44 The Oaks, Kilnacourt Woods, Port, was previously given a four-month prison sentence in the District Court for the assault, a sentence he was appealing at the recent Portlaoise Circuit Court.
Evidence was given to Judge Hunt by State solicitor, Mr Donal Dunne, who said the injured party received bruising to his face after being headbutted by Belelie over €50 owed to Belelie as a drug debt. Belelie claimed the money was owed for a DVD player, but the injured party told gardaí the money was for “weed”.
The injured party was out with his girlfriend at Kilnacourt Woods on August 19 last year when Belelie jumped over railings and asked “Where’s my money?”, before headbutting the man. The injured party’s nose was pumping blood, he felt dizzy and there was bruising to his mouth.
Belelie had six previous convictions.
Defence, Mr Simon McDonald said his client admitted hitting the other man as money was owed. Mr McDonald claimed that the injured party used a racial slur, saying to Belelie: “F**k you, you black bastard”.
Defence explained that Belelie’s parents are South African and he had experienced difficulties growing up in rural Ireland.
Judge Hunt noted that Belelie had a previous conviction for assault.
“His default position seems to be to meet trouble with aggression,” said Judge Hunt.
The judge imposed 240 hours’ community service in lieu of four months in prison.