Heroin addict from Republic who came to Ballymena to ‘get himself away’ from problems assaults man at hostel

A MAN originally from the Republic with a long-standing heroin addiction has appeared in court for assaulting a male at the Simon Community in Ballymena.

Paddy Collins (42), whose address was given as no fixed abode in Ballymena, admitted assault relating to January 4 this year.

A prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court on January 6 the defendant was highly intoxicated on January 4 and “headbutted” the injured party.

The court heard the defendant had a criminal record in the Republic and he came north to “get himself away”.

A defence barrister said the defendant had been living in Northern Ireland for a number of months where he was “convalescing” from an operation.

The lawyer said the defendant had a long-standing addiction to heroin.

The court was told Collins had a “very good relationship” with the victim but there had been a “falling out” when “some words were said”.

The defence lawyer said it wasn’t a headbutt but there had been a “coming together of the heads”.

The court heard the defendant did not have an address and his plan was either to continue to live in the Ballymena area where he was seeing a drug addiction counsellor or go and live with a family member in Portlaoise.

District Judge Peter King was told the defendant didn’t have the means to pay off any fine and instead he handed down a two months jail term suspended for a year.

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