Assault at County Limerick pub linked to Facebook spat

Kilmallock Court was told the assault was linked to a row between the parties on Facebook
A STUDENT struck a 16-year-old girl in the face, breaking her nose after the teenager bit her on the upper thighs during a dispute over a boyfriend, a court has heard.

A STUDENT struck a 16-year-old girl in the face, breaking her nose after the teenager bit her on the upper thighs during a dispute over a boyfriend, a court has heard.

Kilmallock Court heard how there had been a serious of Facebook communications between both parties prior to the altercation during which, it was claimed, the victim stated that she had gone off with the defendant’s boyfriend.

Denise McCarthy, 21, of Riverside Way, Galbally was before Kilmallock Court charged with assault causing harm at Ryan’s Bar, Kilduff, Pallasgreen on September 16 last.

Sergeant Michelle Leahy said that on the date in question, the defendant became involved in an altercation with a 16-year-old at the Pallasgreen pub.

The court also heard that during the altercation, the defendant hit the injured party in the face, breaking her nose.

Sgt Leahy pointed out that the defendant, who had no previous convictions, was very cooperative with the gardai.

Solicitor for Ms McCarthy, Karol Cunniffe, said that on the date in question his client was going in the direction of the toilets when there was an exchange of words between her and the injured party.

Mr Cunniffe said there had been a serious of Facebook communications between both parties and the victim was saying that she had gone off with the defendant’s boyfriend.

He said his client informed him that she had left the public house and went out to the smoking area and the victim threw a pint glass at her. “My client says she was grabbed by the victim and the victim bit her on the legs,” he said producing photographic evidence of the bite marks.

“She had to get treatment,” said Mr Cunniffe.

He said it was in an effort to stop the victim biting his client that she hit the victim on the face.

“My client, who is here in court today, is a very slight person and she tells me she is shocked at the damage she has caused and she is most remorseful,” said Mr Cunniffe.

Mr Cunniffe pointed out that the victim was on the ground and was biting his client’s legs.

Judge Larkin noted that it was her upper thighs that appeared to have been bitten.

The court heard that Ms McCarthy is a single mother who works in childcare.

Mr Cunniffe explained that his client has completed a Level 5 Fetac course and was due to commence Level 6 course last September but because there was a prosecution pending it impacted negatively on the garda vetting process.

He said his client was hoping to commence the Level 6 course this September.

“The long and the short of it is, if she is convicted in relation to this, she is going to have to look at another career,” he said.

Mr Cunniffe handed in copies of references from employers where Ms McCarthy has completed work experience.

He asked Judge Mary Larkin to consider the Probation Act saying that his client was “most remorseful” in relation to what has happened.

“She has had to decline employment in the childcare area, over the last number of months because of this hanging over her,” he added.

Sergeant Leahy said that the defendant didn’t make a complaint to gardai in relation to the incident and added that if she had made one then there would have been a possible case for a prosecution.

Mr Cunniffe said his client wanted to meet the matter fairly.

Judge Mary Larkin said she knew that the defendant was “devastated” by what had happened “but the fact of the matter is there was an open wound on the victim’s nose”.

Judge Larkin pointed out that a procedure had to be carried out under general anaesthetic to put the nose bone back in place and added that the victim would always have a noticeable scar.

“The fact of the matter is somebody had to have surgery for a broken nose,” said Judge Larkin.

“I accept that she is extremely slight but I cannot, not convict,” continued Judge Larkin.

Judge Larkin made an order for a victim impact report and asked for the Probation Services to prepare a report on how best to deal with the matter.

The matter was adjourned until November 1.