Thug is jailed for assault on grandparents

Joshua Darragh

Joshua Darragh

First published in Wallingford Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter. Please call me on (01865) 425411

A THUG has been jailed for eight years for beating the elderly Watlington grandparents of his ex-girlfriend unconscious during a violent, drunken rampage.

Joshua Darragh, 20, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and wounding with intent following the incident earlier this year.

Oxford Crown Court heard on Friday that on June 22, Darragh smashed his way into the Pyrton Way home of Carson and Irene Rea before attacking the pair with such ferocity he knocked them both out. He then stamped on Mr Rea’s head several times and kicked him in the face.

Darragh’s ex-girlfriend, Megan Rea, witnessed the brutal assault as did other members of the family. During the attack the court heard Darragh brandished an eight-inch knife and said: “I’m going to kill you all.”

However, he dropped the weapon as he stalked through the house and did not use it.

In a statement read out by prosecutor Jonathan Stone, Miss Rea said Darragh taunted her grandfather, a self-employed businessman, saying: “Your money won’t help you now.”

Police were called to the scene and Darragh gave himself up. During interviews with detectives he gave no comment, but later pleaded guilty to the charges.

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Mr Rea’s injuries had left him “a shell of the man he once was”, and Mrs Rea’s injuries continue to affect her, according to the pair’s son Simon.

Both suffered facial fractures.

He said the beating had left his father unable to run his business, and the family had fallen into debt.

The court heard how Darragh’s life spiralled out of control following the breakdown of his relationship with Miss Rea.

Peter Du Feu, defending, said Darragh’s life resembled “an erupting volcano”, as the pair argued over a decision to become parents, and he then lost his place on a college course.

Despite spending time overseas he found himself returning to his old circles and encountered her at a party in Watlington on the night of the attack.

Darragh, of Abbey hostel, Reading, was sentenced to eight years for causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and two years for unlawful wounding, to run concurrently.

Judge Ian Pringle said the circumstances could not account for the attack. He said: “Your behaviour was utterly shocking. You burst your way in and then proceeded to assault Carson Rea and his wife Irene.

“Your assault involved striking him to the ground by punching him in the face and then stamping on his head, that caused really serious injuries.

“You then struck Irene Rea causing her to pass out. You have pleaded guilty to two very serious offences, and the effect it has had on the family will never go away.”

Comments (13)

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2:13pm Tue 11 Dec 12

livid99 says...

Scumbag. An example of evolution in reverse. Lets hope he gets the same treatment in jail so that he knows what it feels like.
Scumbag. An example of evolution in reverse. Lets hope he gets the same treatment in jail so that he knows what it feels like. livid99
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Adrian1 says...

Can anyone place when it was 25 years to life (meaning you're leaving in a box)ceased to be the sort of sentence that was handed out for this sort of crime?
Can anyone place when it was 25 years to life (meaning you're leaving in a box)ceased to be the sort of sentence that was handed out for this sort of crime? Adrian1
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Wed 12 Dec 12

TonyH says...

Just as well he didn't get the judge who described burglars as "brave" recently?!
Just as well he didn't get the judge who described burglars as "brave" recently?! TonyH
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Thu 13 Dec 12

slygirl says...

He even stamped on the old boys head, scum!
He even stamped on the old boys head, scum! slygirl
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Maggie83 says...

It is important not to take face value with something so serious and complex. A lot of what happened is missing here, the fact that Miss Rea and Mr Darragh had a three month scan and had planned to have their baby. Miss Rea turned round in just 24hours from last seeing Mr Darragh to say she was 'gay' and couldn't be with him anymore and aborted the baby. Mr Darragh was studying on an A Level programme at a highly respected college, he was due to sit his final exams in three humanities subjects with predicted A-C grades. He is not scum but a young adult who was unable to cope with the spiral of events caused by the break up of his girlfriend,loss of his baby and loss of his studies.
It is important not to take face value with something so serious and complex. A lot of what happened is missing here, the fact that Miss Rea and Mr Darragh had a three month scan and had planned to have their baby. Miss Rea turned round in just 24hours from last seeing Mr Darragh to say she was 'gay' and couldn't be with him anymore and aborted the baby. Mr Darragh was studying on an A Level programme at a highly respected college, he was due to sit his final exams in three humanities subjects with predicted A-C grades. He is not scum but a young adult who was unable to cope with the spiral of events caused by the break up of his girlfriend,loss of his baby and loss of his studies. Maggie83
  • Score: -2

6:07pm Sat 15 Dec 12

Griffwell says...

He is scum. Pure and simple scum. Maggie how you can make excuses for someone who knocked out a female pensioner is a disgrace. Who cares about his problems, what he did was evil and vicious and no excuse could justify it. I hope he has a horrific 8 years in prison and is miserable 24 hours a day.
He is scum. Pure and simple scum. Maggie how you can make excuses for someone who knocked out a female pensioner is a disgrace. Who cares about his problems, what he did was evil and vicious and no excuse could justify it. I hope he has a horrific 8 years in prison and is miserable 24 hours a day. Griffwell
  • Score: 2

6:06pm Sun 16 Dec 12

jumpinconclusions says...

No Grifwell and others you are wrong I think. Maggie83 has given you a clearer insight into the lad and clearly, from my years on service with HMP, he had his mental state adjusted by events. What he did was appalling and I am astounded he did not state that himself at his trial. His whole demeanour gives you the impression he is going to have a tough time in prison. He does not look like the sort I would have had deal with every day.
No Grifwell and others you are wrong I think. Maggie83 has given you a clearer insight into the lad and clearly, from my years on service with HMP, he had his mental state adjusted by events. What he did was appalling and I am astounded he did not state that himself at his trial. His whole demeanour gives you the impression he is going to have a tough time in prison. He does not look like the sort I would have had deal with every day. jumpinconclusions
  • Score: 0

12:12am Mon 17 Dec 12

Griffwell says...

Everyone has issues to deal with in life. But having relationship issues doesn't give an excuse to batter old people to within an inch of their life. Fingers crossed he's a marked man inside and karma catches up with him.
Everyone has issues to deal with in life. But having relationship issues doesn't give an excuse to batter old people to within an inch of their life. Fingers crossed he's a marked man inside and karma catches up with him. Griffwell
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Mon 17 Dec 12

BobPuss says...

I think Maggie is absolutely right. She didn't claim that Josh's difficult time justified what he did - but it certainly helps to explain it. The situation is tragic all around - tragic for his ex-girlfriend and her grandparents but also tragic for Josh. He isn't 'scum'. He did something horrible but that shouldn't define him. Anyone posting on here who doesn't know him should take a second to think about the fact that a guy who has generally been decent has been put in prison for eight years. That isn't going to help anyone.
I think Maggie is absolutely right. She didn't claim that Josh's difficult time justified what he did - but it certainly helps to explain it. The situation is tragic all around - tragic for his ex-girlfriend and her grandparents but also tragic for Josh. He isn't 'scum'. He did something horrible but that shouldn't define him. Anyone posting on here who doesn't know him should take a second to think about the fact that a guy who has generally been decent has been put in prison for eight years. That isn't going to help anyone. BobPuss
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Griffwell says...

8 years too little. Hope he rots.
8 years too little. Hope he rots. Griffwell
  • Score: 1

3:15pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Griffwell says...

What would you do Bob Puss? Give him a slap on the wrist and community service. For me it's great to finally see a punishment fit the crime.
What would you do Bob Puss? Give him a slap on the wrist and community service. For me it's great to finally see a punishment fit the crime. Griffwell
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Bob Richardson says...

This isn't his first offence !!!!
This isn't his first offence !!!! Bob Richardson
  • Score: 1

11:09pm Sun 23 Dec 12

Reality_24/7 says...

@Maggie83 ... Look ,nothing you say will justify his actions . Everybody ,under no excuses ,are responsible for their adult decisions . He saw weakness in the elderly and used this to vent his anger as he knew there was no chance of any retaliation.

He is pure scum on our society and has no place in our society. He deserves medieval punishment .

What a weak %#%#!
@Maggie83 ... Look ,nothing you say will justify his actions . Everybody ,under no excuses ,are responsible for their adult decisions . He saw weakness in the elderly and used this to vent his anger as he knew there was no chance of any retaliation. He is pure scum on our society and has no place in our society. He deserves medieval punishment . What a weak %#%#! Reality_24/7
  • Score: 0

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