Hostel staff member left with broken nose

A man who headbutted a staff member at a local hostel has been given a conditional discharge.

Keith Harkin, whose address was given on court papers as Great James Street, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm in May 2008.

The 22-year-old also admitted criminal damage.

Derry Magistrates Court was told police were called to the Strand Foyer after Harkin assaulted a member of staff.

wThe 22-year-old’s girlfriend, who was a resident in the Foyer, asked staff to remove him from her flat. However, he headbutted the staff member, causing him a broken nose.

When police arrived Harkin was standing outside the Foyer, shirtless, and had to be sprayed with CS spray because he ran at another member of Foyer staff with his fists clenched.

During interview, Harkin admitted he assaulted the staff member because he was asked to leave the building. He also admitted smashing plates and glasses inside his girlfriend’s flat.

Defence solicitor Maeliosa Barr said his client had been drinking all day with his then girlfriend and they had a row.

The solicitor added the 22-year-old reacted the way he did because of alcohol and also because he was concerned about losing his own place in the Foyer, where he lived at the time.

Imposing a conditional discharge for three years, Deputy District Judge Terence Dunlop said Harkin’s behaviour was “reprehensible”.