NewsCrime Desk

Man jailed for horrific machete attacks suspect in prisoner's death

Suspect: Brian Veale
Suspect: Brian Veale

A VIOLENT scumbag jailed for TWO horrific machete attacks last week is the prime suspect in stabbing an inmate to death in Cork Prison while on remand in the jail.

Brian Veale (30), originally from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, received a three-year sentence last week for the violent attacks in Cork, which left a 17-year-old boy and 19-year-old American woman requiring hospital treatment.
 
He has 101 previous convictions for offences including a violent stab attack, numerous assaults, possession of an offensive weapon and drugs offences. 
 
After being charged over the machete attacks, gardai objected to his bail fearing he posed a danger to the public. Bail was refused and Veale was held on remand in Cork Prison. 
 
The Sunday World can reveal he was the prime suspect in the fatal stabbing of a fellow inmate in the prison on May 17. 
 
Graham Johnson, from Co. Cork, was stabbed in the chest at around 5pm that day after a row broke out over a remote control. The father-of-three was a gambling addict who was serving a five-year sentence for robbery and larceny
 
Despite Veale’s propensity for violence, he was a trustee prisoner and was allowed to work in the kitchen where Mr Johnson also worked. 
 
It is believed an argument broke out after Mr Johnson wanted to watch a horse race on TV and another prisoner wanted to watch a Liverpool match. Gardai recovered a knife from the prison kitchen believed to have been used in the attack.
 
Veale was arrested and questioned by gardai over the matter, but later released back into prison custody without charge. A file has been sent to the DPP. 
 
Ironically, at a court appearance last week related to the machete attacks, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said Veale “appears to do well in prison, but his record when at liberty is lamentable”.
 
Veale is originally from Dungarvan, but had been living on Dominic Street in Cork at the time of the attacks.
 
It was on Dominic Street that the vicious thug left two unsuspecting victims with head injuries following separate machete attacks moments apart on February 26.
 
Armed with a 2ft machete, which featured an 18-inch blade, Veale swung with both hands and slashed a 17-year-old teenager on the back of the head as part of a robbery attempt. The boy was hospitalised following the attack and had to get 11 staples to a serious head wound. 
 
Moments after attacking the teen, scumbag Veale turned his attentions to 19-year-old American tourist Laura Bailey, who had just been at Firkin Crane Theatre with three other American pals. 
 
He ran up to the group and threatened to hit Laura in the head with his machete unless she handed over her bag. 
 
After she resisted, he swung the Machete at her – hitting her in the side of the head and stole her handbag. Laura was left with a fractured skull and required a number of stitches to her head. 
 
Members of the public grabbed Veale and disarmed him as he tried to make his getaway. He tried to get away from them, but they managed to keep him in the area until gardai arrived.  
 
Veale told gardai he had smoked “a few bags of heroin and needed more gear”. He initially planned to break into cars but then decided to go on a violent rampage for the sake of a few euro.
 
Judge Ó Donnabháin noted Veale was capable of serious violence. He sentenced him to three years for the two attacks. 
 
In a previous incident Veale stabbed a man at his home in Dungarvan because he was gay. Veale had been drinking with a number of people at the home of Paul Allen on April 24, 2008. 
 
Around 3.30am that morning they were the only people left in the house. Veale got a knife from the kitchen and stabbed Mr Allen three times in the left shoulder, three times in the left arm and once in the back. 
 
He was sentenced to three years for that attack. 
 
The DPP is expected to make a decision over the coming weeks on whether Veale will face any charges related to the prison death.
 
Alan Sheery and Eamon Dillon