In May 2019, Chico Makamda who then had an address in Waterford was sentenced to five years in prison by Justice Melanie Greally having been convicted of sexual assault, false imprisonment and robbery in Dublin in April 2018. He had 15 previous convictions.
He had attacked the woman as she made her way home after a night out and who was only saved from him when another man arrived and Makamda fled the scene. He had committed a similar offence five years previously to that when he attacked a woman who was walking home along Blessington Street on the north side of Dublin city centre.
Makamda introduced himself to Melita Carroll during that sexual assault by shouting “You drank too much bitch” before attempting to drag her down a lane. Carroll saved herself from further harm by screaming and kicking Makadma who fled when another man arrived on the scene.
In 2015 Makamda was sentenced to just three years with one year suspended. Sentencing had been delayed because of legal arguments regarding another of this person’s sexual crimes. This involved an earlier conviction for exposure to two teenage girls in Tralee for which Makamda was fined €50. Makamda had denied he was same person but it was confirmed that he was the same person.
At Makambda’s trial for the 2013 offence, his defence Counsel Luigi Rea tried to argue some mitigation on the basis that Melita Carroll’s false imprisonment had “only” lasted around 90 seconds. And that in any event that his client wished to “put the incident behind him and has learnt a solitarily (sic) lesson while in custody.”
It would seem that he had not, in fact, learned anything from his time in custody. Or at least not anything that made him less of a threat to women and girls.
Melitta Carroll in her impact statement told the court that she had been unable to leave her home on her own for a nearly a year following Makambda’s assault, and that she was continuing to experience panic attacks, no longer went out at night and no longer felt safe.
Makamda at that time was living in a hostel in Limerick and had arrived in Ireland in 2009 claiming to be a refugee. In 2020, five people claiming to be fleeing something in Angola applied for asylum here and all were rejected, but of course that only means that they enter a long drawn out Dickensian appeals process.
If you read that he was sentenced to five years in May 2019 you might be doing some quick calculations and wondering how it comes to be that if he is now out and about again. That has to do with the fact that his sentence was backdated to the time he was initially detained and presumably normal remission.
However, there is an added element because Makambda was actually sentenced to seven and a half years by Justice Greally but had two and a half years taken off on the condition that he leave Ireland within 14 days of his release.
Greally had also perhaps been moved by the claims of his defence Paul Carroll that the poor man had no family and was homeless and not that bright. None of which are any excuse you might imagine, but Justice Greally having referred to Melita Carroll’s trauma decided that Makambda’s social isolation and the difficulties foreign prisoners have mixing with other prisoners in a strange country deserved some sympathy too.
Will he still be here in two weeks do you think? Why has the state seemingly left it up to someone who is clearly highly toxic and dangerous towards women and girls to make his own way home? Will some legal person decide that making him go home is an horrendous assault on his human rights, and indeed on all of our human rights, and thus begin yet another tax stumped journey via the courts while the threat remains?
These are issues that ought to be immediately addressed by the Minister for Justice who is clearly intent on reducing the dangers that face Irish women from men like Makambda, even if he does fit into some other victimhood box.