Angolan refugee jailed for trying to drag woman down Dublin alleyway
A man who grabbed a woman late at night in Dublin city centre, telling her “you drank too much bitch” has been sentenced to three years in jail, with the final year suspended.
Chico Makamda (32) grabbed Melita Cahill’s right wrist as she walked alone down Blessington Street in Dublin at around 2am and tried to drag her into a laneway.
Ms Cahill managed to punch and kick him while shouting for help before breaking free from him.
Makamda, an Angolan refugee with an address at Foynes in Limerick pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to false imprisonment of Ms Cahill on August 7, 2013.
Garda Donna Ferguson said Ms Cahill had been with a group of friends in town and left them to get a taxi. When she realised she did not have the €20 she had put aside to pay for the fare, she began to walk home alone.
While walking and texting her friend, she noticed a dark-skinned male in a red jacket walking slowly behind her. She stopped at the Garden of Remembrance to pretend to look in her handbag and let him walk past her. Later, as she walked along Blessington Street, she noticed the same male standing on the footpath and tried to avoid him by walking on the road.
He then grabbed her by the right wrist and shouted at her “You drank too much bitch” before trying to grab her down a laneway. Ms Cahill managed to escape and a male who heard her screaming came to her aid.
Makamda was arrested by gardaí a short time later while he was waiting at a nearby bus stop. He initially admitted speaking to Ms Cahill but denied grabbing her.
In her victim impact statement Ms Cahill said, it took her nearly a year to be able to go out alone during the day and that she still suffers anxiety and panic attacks. She said she isn’t able to go out alone at night time and doesn’t feel safe anymore.
She said “by the grace of God” she is left handed because he grabbed her right hand and she was able to fight him off and get away.
Gda Ferguson agreed with defence counsel Luigi Rea BL that the false imprisonment lasted about a minute and a half. However, Gda Ferguson said this was because Ms Cahill was able to fight him off.
“The married man wants to put the incident behind him and has learnt a solitarily lesson while in custody,” said Mr Rea.
Sentencing was delayed as Makamda denied that he was convicted in Tralee District Court with indecently exposing himself to two teenage girls in Kerry.
The garda who took the statement from the teenagers and the superintendent who was in court on the day of the indecent exposure trial both told Gerardine Small, SC, prosecuting, that Makamda was the man who committed that crime. Makamda was fined €50 for the incident.
Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced Makamda to three years with one year suspended and noted that he experienced hardship in custody as a foreign national with limited English.