horror assault | 

Dad (25) struck victim 20 times in 25 seconds during ‘vicious’ attack on Longford street

The father of one carried out the assault while under the confines of three suspended sentences

Calem Meade (25)

Calem Meade (25) of Market Street, Granard, Co Longford

Calem Meade (25) being led into court

Liam CosgroveSunday World

A father of one who launched a “vicious and frenzied” attack on another man by punching him more than 20 times in the space of 25 seconds during a late night street assault while under the confines of three suspended sentences has been jailed for four years.

Calem Meade (25), of Market Street, Granard, Co Longford was handed down the sentence at a sitting of Longford Circuit Criminal Court today on Thursday arising out of an incident at Main Street, Granard, Co Longford during the early hours of April 3, 2022.

The father of one, who pleaded guilty to carrying out the assault had only been out of prison just over a year after serving a four year sentence issued in February 2018 for robbery, assault and false imprisonment of a now deceased businessman in Sligo.

A further two years had been suspended on the proviso Meade refrain from consuming drugs and alcohol and to keep the peace for a period of five years post release, conditions he breached when committing the assault.

It also emerged during Meade’s sentencing hearing that the accused had also been under the conditions of two further suspended sentences for assault and aggravated burglary in August 2016, both of which carried two and five year prison terms respectively for a period of ten years after being issued in December 2020.

The court was told Meade had been out drinking with his partner when the former factory worker encountered the victim during what was described as a “chance encounter” on the main street of the north Longford town at around 1:30am.

Calem Meade (25) being led into court

State prosecuting counsel Shane Geraghty BL, said Aaron Hughes, a friend of the 25-year-old victim had been walking back from a fast food takeaway towards a local pub when the pair came across Meade and “words were exchanged”.

Mr Geraghty said it was the State’s case the duo then “squared up to each other” with the victim allegedly pushing Meade on the shoulder.

Seconds later, the court heard Meade struck the victim causing him to fall and his head off the pavement.

Mr Geraghty said the accused then proceeded to lean over his prone victim, punching him up to 22 times in an attack that lasted no more than 25 seconds.

The victim, who declined to come to court and make a victim impact statement, suffered significant head and facial injuries, including a fractured eye socket.

Detective Garda Brendan Lynn said when Meade was initially arrested five days after the incident and questioned, the 25-year-old denied he had been at the scene.

It was only when Meade was shown CCTV footage of the incident that he admitted his culpability and conceded he had “overreacted” on the night in question.

Det Garda Lynn also said the victim had asked for his name not to be published, adding: “He just wants to leave the incident behind him and move on.”

The court was informed Meade had 17 previous convictions to his name ranging from robbery, false imprisonment, assault and road traffic.

Det Garda Lynn agreed with Dara Foynes SC, defending, that the accused was someone who had endured a “turbulent upbringing” and was not “looking for trouble” on the night of the incident.

Ms Foynes said the entire episode centred on a “chance encounter” and while violent in its execution, it was a disproportionate overreaction on behalf of her client.

“It was vicious, but it happened quite quickly,” she said, stating Meade had also €3,000 in court as a token of his remorse.

“He didn’t scarper and was seen at the scene in the immediate aftermath. His actions were out of order.”

Calem Meade (25) of Market Street, Granard, Co Longford

Taking the stand himself, Meade, who was wearing a dark blue tracksuit, apologised to his victim and admitted he was acutely aware of his need to address his own mental health and addiction issues.

“I am very sorry for what I did,” he said, confessing the inner “monster” in him had emerged when unleashing his attack on his victim.

“I was out of order and I hope he can accept my apology.”

Meade also said he was continuing to engage with counselling while in custody and was willing to undertake a residential treatment course upon his release.

“I will get all the help I can get and I honestly believe I won’t be in front of you again,” he told Judge Keenan Johnson.

“I just want to go home and be a father. I was trying my best, but it wasn’t good enough.”

In imposing a three year sentence for assault on Meade, who has been in custody since last April, Judge Johnson said he had never before seen such “frenetic and rapid” punching in all his time on the bench.

A further one year from a five year sentence suspended for ten years in connection to the 2016 aggravated burglary charge was reactivated.

Judge Johnson imposed a number of additional conditions, including orders on the accused to provide a further €5,000 to the victim within 18 months and to complete a residential drug treatment course within 12 months from his release from prison.

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