A judge has jailed a 29-year-old Co Clare man for 14 months for a late night ‘bite’ assault on a farmer in a pub last May.
At Ennis Circuit Court, State counsel, Lorcan Connolly BL described how Brian Joyce bit into the cheek of farmer, John Killeen and “latched” onto to Mr Killeen’s cheek as other pub goers at the Kilmaley Inn manhandled Mr Joyce out of the pub on May 27th last.
CCTV footage of the bite assault played in court showed blood coming from the wound on Mr Killeen’s left cheek
Judge Francis Comerford said that Mr Joyce “used his teeth as a weapon” and latched into the cheek of Mr Killeen.
Previously, Mr Joyce achieved notoriety when he exposed himself at a shocked district court judge in a courtroom in Ennis in 2015.
Judge Comerford also imposed a consecutive two-month prison term on Mr Joyce for an ‘upper end’ public order offence.
The court was told that in a public order incident on June 26th last, Mr Joyce again exposed himself to Gardai when they made a 4am call to his home at St Enda’s, Beechpark on the outskirts of Ennis.
Concerning the bite assault, Judge Comerford said that Mr Joyce had inflicted a ‘nasty’ injury on Mr Killeen.
Tension in pub
Mr Joyce was present with his uncle in the pub on the night and Judge Comerford said that there was “high tension” in the pub prior to the assault.
Imposing sentence, Judge Comeford said that he accepted that Mr Joyce was attacked from behind by Mr Killeen as Mr Joyce intervened in an altercation involving his uncle and another man.
Mr Killeen did not make a statement to Gardai concerning Mr Joyce’s assault on him and the court was also told that Mr Killeen received an Adult Caution for his role in the violent incident.
Judge Comerford said that the fact that Mr Joyce was attacked from behind reduced his culpability in the assault.
Mr Joyce has 38 previous convictions including one for assault causing serious harm. Of the rest, 29 relate to road traffic offences.
In 2017, Mr Joyce received a six and a half year jail term with the final 18 months suspended for the assault on Danny Harty where Mr Harty sustained slash wounds requiring 100 stitches to his face.
Tragic loss of father
Counsel for Mr Joyce, Amy Nix BL said that her client has had a lot of tragedy in his life losing his father to tragic circumstances in 2013 and a brother was murdered in 2017.
Ms Nix said that Mr Joyce’s time in jail will mean that he will miss his daughter’s upcoming Holy Communion which is second only to her wedding day in the family’s life and Mr Joyce will be devastated to miss it.
Ms Nix said that Mr Joyce left school aged 14 and is illiterate but has been making progress in prison through music, English and art classes.
Ms Nix said that Mr Joyce expresses his emotions through his art and handed examples of his drawings to Judge Comerford. Ms Nix said that Mr Joyce wishes to apologise for his actions and is extremely remorseful.
Mr Joyce pleaded guilty to each offence in court.
Ms Nix said that Mr Joyce on the night was self-soothing his depression through the consumption of alcohol.
Judge Comerford backed the consecutive prison sentences to July 18th last when Mr Joyce first went into custody.