A man who appeared before Galway District Court this week was convicted of assaulting another man after an argument about noise levels.
Mahmood Rasheed (38), was charged with assaulting Ahmed Shakeel Junego at the Great Western House on Forster St on January 15, 2017.
Mr. Rasheed and Mr. Junego were known to each other before the assault as they were both residents at the asylum centre at the Great Western House, along with Mr. Junego’s roommates Asad Ullah Khan, Syed Ali Aurazi, and another man called Jaffer.
Mr. Junego testified in court that he was in his room with his roommates when Mr. Rasheed entered and began talking loudly with Mr. Aurazi.
He said that when he told Mr. Rasheed to speak quieter or leave the room, Mr. Rasheed came up to him and slapped him hard enough to knock him to the ground and leave him bleeding from the nose.
Garda Anne Marie Conroy gave evidence that at ten past four in the afternoon on January 15, while she was on duty at the public office of Galway Garda station, Mr. Junego came to the station to lodge a complaint about an assault that took place around midday.
Garda Conroy took a statement from Mr. Rasheed on January 24, but there was no cctv footage from the room which could be examined for evidence.
In his statement Mr. Rasheed, who is originally from Pakistan, says he frequently stopped by the other men’s room to talk since they are from the same country.
On this instance, he said that Mr. Aurazi demanded €15 from him and when he went to leave Mr. Junego grabbed him and tried to block the door.
When giving testimony in court Mr. Rasheed vehemently denied hitting Mr. Junego, saying that he had no intention or desire to hurt anyone, he only pushed passed Mr. Junego to get out of the room and wasn’t aware that he’d knocked him over.
One other witness gave testimony at the hearing on Monday; Mr. Asad Ullah Khan, who was on his phone in bed when the incident occurred.
He says he was not paying attention to the incident beforehand but that he heard Mr. Junego tell Mr. Rasheed to be quieter as Jaffer was sleeping.
The next thing he heard, Mr. Khan said, was a loud slapping sound. He looked up to see Mr. Junego lying on the floor bleeding while Mr. Rasheed had already left the room.
He says he didn’t go after Mr. Rasheed because everything happened too fast and Mr. Junego looked like he was unconscious.
The prosecuting garda said that neither of the other witnesses corroborated anything in Mr. Rasheed’s story.
In a short impact statement, Mr. Junego said that while he was in the hospital being treated he was very aware that he had no family here in Ireland.
Mr. Rasheed was convicted of assault under Section 2 of the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act.
In sentencing the court took into account that he is living on €21 of direct provision a week and fined him €100 with four months to pay.