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Asylum seekers pitch their business ideas to Galway’s food and music experts – Connacht Tribune – Galway City Tribune:

A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to seven months in jail for punching his solicitor in the face during a Galway District Court hearing.

A Sudanese national, Ahmed Adudu, c/o Great Western Hostel, Frenchville Lane, Eyre Square, appeared in custody in court last week where he pleaded guilty to assaulting his lawyer, causing injuries to his courtroom on April 21.

His new lawyer, Keith Concannon, told the court that Adudu had mental health issues but had coped well while receiving treatment and medication at Central Psychiatric Hospital in recent months. He said he was released to the general prison population last week and was now calm as he continued to take his prescribed medication.

Judge Marie Keane, who was presiding on the day of the assault, remanded Adudu into custody. He was already in custody and serving other sentences at the time anyway.

Judge Mary Fahy remarked last week that she heard about the lawyer’s assault in the courtroom and that he needed treatment afterwards. She noted that he did not want to make a complaint statement about the assault.

Mr Concannon said his client left western Sudan alone when he was just 15 and ended up in Ireland in 2019.

He said Adudu was “deeply ill” after his trip and his deteriorated mental health was the driving force behind his violent behavior.

He said he had been in contact with psychiatrist Dr Benjamin O’Keeffe who provided a full report to the court, and he felt that Adudu was now fine because he was taking medication which had improved him.

“At least he seems very placid at the moment,” the lawyer observed.

Sergeant Aoife Curley, prosecuting, said Adudu had 15 previous convictions, including one for violent behavior in a guardhouse, repeatedly refusing to give his name and address to the guard, and three for failing to appear before various courts.

Mr Concannon said Adudu was currently serving 13 months in prison which would expire in January. He asked the judge to be lenient and not to increase his client’s sentence.

Reading Dr. O’Keeffe’s report, Judge Fahy noted that Adudu had a propensity for violence and that there was a threat of violence towards the gardai mentioned in the report.

She noted that a nurse was also assaulted but chose not to file a formal complaint against Adudu.

Mr Concannon explained there was ‘a cultural disconnect with authority figures’ and he described his client being ‘bounced back’ a lot on his journey through Africa and all the way to Ireland.

Judge Fahy said that Adudu assaulted the very people who were trying to help him and that it was unacceptable for him to assault anyone in the legal, medical or any other profession who was only trying to help him and, doing, had to be in close collaboration with him. proximity to him.

She said the victim in this case was trying to help Adudu, but he hit hard when he was near him.

Mr Concannon said he asked his client why he assaulted his colleague and told him he was very ill at the time.

He claimed he sometimes heard voices in his head telling him to do these things.

“And that would explain why he did that because it was so stupid to do it in front of or in front of a room full of people,” Concannon pointed out.

Judge Fahy said professionals trying to help other people are particularly vulnerable, as was the case here.

Mr. Concannon again asked her to be lenient and to hand down any sentence she imposed alongside the sentence he was currently serving.

“Absolutely not! This is too serious an assault in court against a member of the legal profession. It must be treated seriously,” the judge said.

Mr Concannon agreed that the offense was serious but jail was not the appropriate place for someone with mental health issues.

The judge said she had to treat this type of offense seriously, before sentencing Adudu to seven months in prison, to be served at the end of the sentence he is currently serving.

Seeking leave to appeal the sentence, Mr Concannon explained that his client was an asylum seeker and would not be able to provide independent surety as he was dependent on homeless services.

Judge Fahy granted leave to appeal and was certified as a lawyer under the free legal aid program. “It is well justified in this case because it is a complicated case,” added the judge.

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