Man avoids jail after vicious Buncrana assault

November 1, 2022

A carnival worker who became embroiled in a row has avoided going to prison following his part in an assault in Buncrana.

Brandon McCammond was in Buncrana with the carnival, but was not working on the night of July 25, 2021, when he became involved in a row.

McCammond was charged with assault causing harm to Deven Brolly at Ferris Lane, Buncrana.

Garda Tomás McMahon said he and his colleagues observed a large amount of blood on the pavement when they arrived after a report of an assault at 1.15am on July 25, 2021.

Mr Brolly was taken away by ambulance but the victim did not wish to submit a victim impact statement, the court was told.

Garda McMahon said Mr Brolly suffered a laceration to the head in the incident.

Counsel for the State, Ms Patricia McLaughlin BL, said Mr Brolly recalls there being aggravation and ‘the next thing I remember is being kicked at least ten times’ and how he instinctively protected his head, believing the assailants to be aiming for his head.

A woman identified McCammond to Gardaí as a man who worked at the carnival under the name ‘Cecil’.

McCammond was not working on the night in question.

Garda McMahon confirmed that McCammond was not out socialising and had been in a caravan with his family when he got a phone call to go to Buncrana town to pick someone up.

McCammond, from Grange Walk, Ballyclare, County Antrim, presented himself voluntarily to Buncrana Garda Station, where he made full admissions of what he did after being arrested and detained.

McCammond admitted hitting Mr Brolly, but denied kicking him to the head.

McCammond, a 29-year-year with no previous convictions, apologised for his part in the incident.

“I regret everything that I have done,” McCammond said. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

He raised €1,500 for his victim as a token of remorse while a testimonial from the accused’s former employer was also handed into the court.

His barrister, Mr Sean McGee BL, instructed by solicitor Mr Walter Hegarty, said his client lives with his wife and two children.

McCammond has been unemployed for the last two years after suffering a bleed to his brain in a motorcycle accident.

Mr McGee said that witnessing his sister being attacked acted as a trigger for his incident in Buncrana.

“He acted impulsively,” Mr McGee said. “This was extremely out of character and he says he could have intervened without assaulting Mr Brolly.”

Mr McGee said that a probation report placed McCammond, who has no previous convictions, as a low risk of reoffending.

Passing sentence, Judge John Aylmer said the incident could have been ‘far more serious and far more serious charges could have ensued’.

Judge Aylmer said the starting point for sentencing, before taking mitigation into account, was a two-year prison sentence.

McCammond, Judge Aylmer said, was fully co-operative and had given a forthright account of what happened to Gardaí.

“He got sucked into an assault in a very impulsive manner,” Judge Aylmer said. “His role was lesser in that evidence has shown that he kicked him in the back and wasn’t the one inflicting blows to the head.”

Judge Aylmer said the offer of €1,5000 as a token of remorse was ‘a significant sum in the circumstances’, but added that community service was ‘not appropriate’ in this case.

Judge Aylmer reduced the sentence to one of 16 months imprisonment. With regard to McCammond being of mature years and the manner he dealt with the matter, Judge Aylmer suspended the entirety of the sentence for 16 months upon McCammond entering into a bond of €100 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.