A COUPLE who assaulted a woman on a busy city street have been ordered to pay €5,000 to the injured party, and have each received a three-year suspended sentence from Limerick Circuit Court.
Karen Hedderman, 27, of Aster Court, Keyes Park, and her partner Mark Crawford, 34, of O’Malley Park, Southill, each pleaded guilty to assaulting Mary Moloney at William Street, Limerick on April 28, 2011.
The court heard a seven-year-old boy shouted encouragement at his parents as they assaulted the woman in broad daylight on William Street, with the youngster telling his mother “go on mam, give it to her”.
There is a history between both parties, as a son of Ms Moloney is currently serving a life sentence for murdering Mark Crawford’s brother, Noel, in O’Malley Park, Southill in 2006.
The court the incident happened when Ms Moloney encountered the defendants and their son while walking on the street at around 11am.
As the parties passed each other on the street, Mark Crawford made a remark to Ms Moloney about her brother, Mark, who was shot dead in Garryowen in 2008.
Ms Moloney then spat at him and an altercation took place.
CCTV footage of the incident showed Ms Moloney being punched and kicked by the defendants during the incident which lasted for less than a minute.
Ms Moloney sustained a broken nose, two black eyes and severe bruising as a result of the assault. In an earlier hearing, the victim told the court in her victim impact statement she said she still had nightmares about what happened.
Lawyers representing the defendants argued there was no pre-meditation in the attack, which they described as “spontaneous”. They argued that the public interest would not be served by imposing an immediate custodial sentence.
Hedderman and Crawford raised €3,000 last year, which they offered as compensation, and have now raised a further €2,000. The couple are no longer living in the Limerick area.
This Wednesday, Judge Carroll Moran heard the the defendants have not come to adverse attention since this case.
Mark Nicholas, BL, for the defence, said it was “an unfortunate incident, but they met it well.”
The court heard Ms Hedderman has no relevant previous convictions, while Mr Crawford has a previous drugs conviction.
Judge Moran said this was a “nasty assault”, and remarked that the compensation would be much higher than €5,000 if this was a civil case.
He imposed a three-year sentence, suspended for three years on their own bond of €100. They have been ordered to stay away from Ms Moloney and be of good behaviour.