Limerick court hears that woman kicked elderly neighbour during incident

The Courthouse, Mulgrave Street

The Courthouse, Mulgrave Street

A WOMAN who kicked her elderly neighbour after she ‘pushed’ her way into his home has been told she will avoid a criminal conviction if she makes a contribution to charity.

Catherine Blackwell, aged 46, who has an address at Main Street, Cappamore pleaded guilty, earlier this year, to assaulting Anthony Ryan during an incident on September 29, 2016.

Limerick District Court heard the now 80-year-old was kicked in the legs after he opened his front door at around 2pm on the date of the offence.

Ms Blackwell had been ‘kicking and banging’ on the door and was abusive towards the pensioner when he answered.

Judge Marian O'Leary was told the incident was linked to an “ongoing dispute” over a boundary and that Ms Blackwell was intoxicated.

Referring to the contents of a Victim Impact Statement, Judge O’Leary noted that while the pensioner was upset, there has been no long-lasting effects on him.

Sergeant Donal Cronin commented that the “unexplained nature” of what happened was the biggest concern for Mr Ryan.

Solicitor Sabina Hegerty said her client suffers from ‘mental health issues’ and that there has been “nothing untoward” since the incident.

She said around the time of the assault, she had been “self-medicating with alcohol” and was “very down” on the day.

She said the incident had arisen over a historic boundary issue and that she is now staying away from her elderly neighbour.

”She has stayed out of his way. She is taking her medication now”.

Judge O’Leary was told gardai are satisfied the assault was a “one-off incident” and that Ms Blackwell is unlikely to reoffend.

“It is best to leave it behind her,” said Ms Hegerty who told the court her client is not currently working.

In the circumstances and noting the lack of any further incidents, Judge O’Leary indicated she will apply the provisions of the Probation Act if a €120 contribution is made to the court poor box by October.

The judge also directed Ms Blackwell “not to interfere” with Mr Ryan for the next two years.

The defendant was warned if she fails to pay the money or breaches the court order, a formal conviction will be recorded and a €200 fine imposed.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.