A 21-year-old Dublin man with 75 previous convictions has been sentenced to four years in jail for assaulting one of two Polish men who were murdered by his friend.

Sean Keogh of Vincent Street West, Inchicore, was acquitted of murdering Pawel Kalite and Marius Swajkos but pleaded guilty to assault.

His trial heard he had kicked Mr Kalite in the head as he fell to the ground after being stabbed.

His co-accused, David Curran from Lissadel Green in Drimnagh, was jailed for life earlier this month for murdering the two men.

Mr Kalite and Mr Szwajkos were stabbed to death with a screwdriver outside their home in Drimnagh in February 2008.

Mr Justice Liam McKechnie said Keogh had delivered a vicious kick to a dying man who was utterly defenceless, to satisfy his lust for harm.

He said it showed a deep and sickening side of a personality, which society should not be exposed to.

He said the law and the courts had to afford some level of protection to society.

He described it as pure thuggery and said it was not enough to simply condemn the behaviour. The action had to come from the sentence.

He imposed a four-and-a-half-year sentence with the final six months suspended.

The court heard that Keogh had 75 previous convictions for criminal damage, stealing cars, public order and road traffic offences.

The assault was committed while he was on bail for other offences.

The judge said his criminal record was appalling.

Keogh's lawyers had asked the court to give him a last chance and said there was evidence that he was capable of rehabilitation.

Senior Counsel Patrick Gageby told the court that Keogh had a problem with alcohol which led to criminal offending.

Mr Gageby said that the prosecution was not entitled to argue that the offence was at the serious end of the scale because it was part of a premeditated attack and was carried out in the knowledge that Mr Kalite had been stabbed in the head.

Mr Gageby said the jury had clearly found there was no premeditation in finding him not guilty of murder by common design.

He also said the evidence showed there were only seconds between the stabbing and the assault.

Counsel for the prosecution John O Kelly said the jury had rejected the case of common design to kill or seriously injure but there was clearly a premeditated attack.

He said Keogh had kicked Mr Kalite in the head when he knew he had just been stabbed through the head with a screwdriver.

Keogh's family apologised to the families of the two Polish men and expressed their 'deep and heartfelt' sorrow.

Keogh also expressed his 'deep, deep remorse' and said he hoped both his family and the victims' families could get on with their lives.