Belfast Telegraph

Belfast thug attacked charity worker dressed as giant heart

By Ashleigh McDonald

A 26-year-old man has been jailed for assaulting a charity worker who was collecting money in Belfast dressed as a giant red heart.

The charity worker sustained a broken wrist which required two separate operations after he was forcefully pushed to the pavement by Jonathan William Meneice.

The injured man - who Belfast Crown Court heard was unable to defend himself due to the nature of his costume - has been left with a permanent metal plate and bolts in his wrist as a result of the assault.

Meneice, who appeared in court with 136 previous convictions, was seen stumbling along Castle Lane before approaching the charity worker as he stood outside the British Heart Foundation. He has since apologised for his actions.

Meneice, from Victoria Street in Belfast, admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

He was handed a 22-month sentence by Judge Geoffrey Miller QC, and will spend 11 months in prison, with the remainder on licence after release.

Crown prosecutor Simon Jenkins revealed the assault occurred on the afternoon of Friday, October 16, 2015.

Mr Jenkins said that after approaching the costumed charity worker, Meniece "forcefully knocked him off his feet". The shove resulted in the charity worker falling backwards.

Revealing he had to undergo surgery twice, Mr Jenkins said the victim had experienced difficulties as a result of the wrist injury.

The father of two was arrested and interviewed, and after watching CCTV footage of the incident, he admitted it was him in the footage but said he had no recollection of the day in question.

Jailing Meniece, Judge Miller said it was clear from watching the footage that the defendant was "highly intoxicated".

He also spoke of the "significant" fracture caused to the injured man's right wrist and revealed the incident had resulted in his confidence being shaken.

The judge said he also accepted that Meneice suffered from a range of mental health issues including paranoia, which have worsened due to his "abuse of alcohol and illegal substances".

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