A man who was high on cocaine when he “lost the plot” and attacked two women including his then partner when she accused him of cheating on her has been jailed for 18 months.
One victim described Michael Joyce (23) as being “vicious and violent and grinding his teeth” during the attack.
Detective Garda Des Molloy told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that on the night of May 24 last (2020) Joyce's then girlfriend Katelyn Stevenson became suspicious of him and began looking through his mobile phone to see if he was hiding something from her.
Joyce became annoyed and shouted at her to give him back his phone. He grabbed her iPhone, worth around €800, and threw it across the room, smashing it.
At one stage he pushed her and slapped her face. The two were rowing in the bedroom of the home of Joyce's sister Elizabeth and Ms Joyce's young daughter was in the room.
When Ms Joyce came into the room to tell the couple to be quiet the defendant punched her twice in the face. Ms Joyce was shocked and began screaming at her brother to get out.
As she pushed him out of the room and the house, he punched her a third time before finally leaving. The court heard that at one stage the victim's young daughter said “don't hit my mammy”.
Ms Joyce was treated in hospital for a swollen left cheek and a 2cm cut under her eye. She declined to make a victim impact statement, Dt Gda Molloy said.
A third woman who was present said that Joyce appeared vicious, violent and was grinding his teeth in a rage. The court heard that Joyce took his sister's and this woman's mobile phones when he left but returned them the next day.
Joyce of Dunedin Terrace, Monkstown, south Dublin pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Ms Stevenson, criminal damage of her iPhone, and theft of two mobile phones at a house in Churchtown, south Dublin.
His 27 previous convictions include criminal damage, public order offences and an offence for violence.
Oisin Clarke BL, defending, said Joyce and his then partner had gone to a party at his sister's home and everybody was quite drunk.
His client was also taking cocaine on the night and “he lost the plot” when his partner accused him of cheating on her. He said Joyce did express remorse to gardaí after his arrest.
Judge Martin Nolan said his behaviour on the night was shameful and said Joyce is bad-tempered when he is abusing drink or drugs.
He said that Joyce's employment history was to his credit and accepted his remorse was genuine. He suspended 18 months of a three year prison term on condition Joyce be of good behaviour for the three years.