A Clonaslee man went on a rampage after an impromptu drinking session and assaulted five people, scalding three members of an Italian family with hot curry sauce including a woman who received facial injuries.
Judge Keenan Johnson said that Michael Madden (28), The Green, Clonaslee, deserves to go to prison for the offences, but the judge adjourned the case for a psychiatric assessment before finalising sentencing.
Before the recent circuit court in Portlaoise, Madden was charged with four counts of assault causing harm, assault, and criminal damage.
Garda Michael Greaney gave evidence, with State barrister, Mr Will Fennelly, that on May 23, 2016, there was an incident at Hillview estate in Clonaslee, where Madden assaulted a number of people after an impromptu drinking session.
He was very drunk and very aggressive towards a man of Italian extraction, whose family operated a fast food outlet in Clonaslee.
This man left the scene, but Madden went on to assault another man and a woman.
The woman got into a verbal row with the accused and the man came to her help, whereupon the accused punched him twice to the face, fracturing his nose and bursting his lip.
Madden then went to the fast food outlet looking for the Italian man with whom he’d had the earlier altercation.
A verbal altercation began between the accused and members of the Italian family, before Madden flipped a pot of curry over three injured parties.
The Italian man’s mother received injuries to her face and arms when the very hot liquid was splashed on her, while the Italian man and his father were splashed on their arms.
Garda Greaney said that the woman received the worst injuries and photos handed into the court showed her with blistering and scald marks on her face.
The two males got scalded on their arms.
Garda Greaney said the woman’s injuries are okay now, but she is still very nervous dealing with customers.
There was also damage caused to the premises when a glass counter was smashed, costing €500 to repair.
None of the injured parties wished to make victim impact statements.
When arrested, the accused had a very fractured recollection of the incident as he had been so drunk. Garda Greaney said that the accused had no recollection of the incident at the takeaway, but when he was shown CCTV footage he did take responsibility.
He also claimed that during the earlier assault at Hillview, he put his hands up to stop the man coming at him.
The accused had 11 previous convictions, including assaults, criminal damage, and public order offences.
Defence, Mr Colm Hennessy said that it had been a nasty incident, particularly for the lady who got burned. The accused went on an impromptu drinking session and there was an incident that was a precursor to the assaults before matters spiralled downwards.
Mr Hennessy said the accused had a difficult upbringing and didn’t get much support at home for his dyslexia
There was a pattern of bullying which manifested as anger and reactive behaviour. From the age of seven he was taken out of one school and put into another, then a borstel, where things didn't get mush better.
He was in and out of facilities with the HSE, but once he turned 18 he was sent on his way.
Defence said that Madden had been “exposed to behaviours he should never have seen” while in care, which put his offences in context.
“Anger is an issue here,” said Mr Hennessy.
Defence went on to say that there was a link between the accused’s offending and his alcohol use.
The accused had €3,000 in court by way of compensation, to underline his remorse. Mr Hennessy asked the court to stay its hand until April before sentencing, to allow the accused to get more compensation.
Judge Keenan Johnson said that the woman had received horrific injuries to her face and had been very fortunate not to suffer scarring.
He said the accused “went on the rampage” on the day and when arrested, he was not fulsome in his cooperation with the gardaí.
The accused was assessed at a high risk of reoffending, and Judge Johnson said these offences represented a serious escalation of his offending to date.
He said that the gravity of the offending could not but carry a custodial sentence, but a psychiatric assessment would be of assistance.
Recommending a four-month sentence for the assault on the women in Hillview, which was the least serious assault, Judge Johnson said he would adjourn the matters to April 10 next, for a report on the accused.
He said it was not appropriate to adjourn the matter for more compensation, but any further compensation would be of benefit before sentencing.
Of the €3,000 compensation in court, Judge Johnson directed that €2,000 go to the Italian family, and €1,000 go to the man who was punched in Hillview.