Stiletto used as a weapon in late night street brawl

A STREET fight between three women in which a high-heeled shoe was used to cause serious cuts to a woman’s head was sparked by negative comments about people from Abbeyfeale, a court has heard.

A STREET fight between three women in which a high-heeled shoe was used to cause serious cuts to a woman’s head was sparked by negative comments about people from Abbeyfeale, a court has heard.

Mother-of-two Bridget Enright, aged 26, of Shannon View, Main Street, Glin pleaded guilty to a charge of assault in connection with the attack on another woman at St Mary’s Road, Newcastle West on November 21, 2010.

Newcastle West Court heard last Friday that an earlier fight between Enright, a female friend and the victim in a nightclub re-ignited on the street a short time later, and that the victim was then held down, kicked, punched and struck over the head with a stiletto heel.

In her defence, Enright claimed that she was “slapped in the face” and provoked by the victim, who “took umbrage” at a comment Enright had made about people from Abbeyfeale.

Supt Dan Flavin told the court that during the fight on the street, Enright had held the victim down as the other woman “kicked her in the face”.

The second woman then took off the victim’s high-heeled shoe and struck her over the head with it, cutting her in the process. A medical report detailing the victim’s injuries was submitted to the court.

Joanne Williams, BL, defending, said that the confrontation began earlier that night in a local nightclub, when Enright was “approached by a man who thought that he knew her from school”.

However Enright did not know him and became annoyed by his continuing approaches, at which point she “made a comment adverse to Abbeyfeale”.

The injured party in the assault, who is from Abbeyfeale, was nearby and “took umbrage” at Enright’s comment. Ms Williams said that there was “an exchange of words between them”, and that the Enright was then “slapped across the face by the injured party”.

At this point, the defendant’s friend intervened and a fight broke out. The injured party and Enright’s friend were thrown out of the nightclub, and Enright followed them outside.

Outside the club, Ms Williams said, “gardai advised Ms Enright and her friend to go one way, and the injured party the other”. However, Ms Williams said that the victim did not do this and instead followed Enright and her friend along the street, and that “some aggravation” and more “heated exchanges” between the victim and Enright’s friend took place.

As this was happening, the victim fell to the ground and remained seated there “in a state of inebriation”, before kicking Enright in the legs.

During the “scuffle” that followed, Ms Williams said that Enright “did kick and slap” the victim. However, the defendant insisted that while “there were stilettos involved” in the assault, these were used by Enright’s friend, and not her.

The court heard that the victim suffered a laceration to her ear after being struck with the heel, while she also suffered injuries to her back.

Ms Williams said that there was “provocation” towards Enright, and that it was the victim who instigated the confrontation in the nightclub and again on the street.

Nonetheless, Enright has shown “remorse” for her part in “an undignified scuffle on side of the street”. Ms Williams said that the assault “was not premeditated” and the injuries “were not grave on either side”.

The court heard that Enright has eleven previous convictions, with the most recent being a one-month suspended prison sentence in July 2010 for public order offences. In May 2009 she was also convicted on public order matters, while the rest of her record relates to road traffic offences.

Ms Williams said that Enright is married with two young sons, and that she and her family intend to move to Australia soon. Enright is currently unemployed, but is qualified in child care.

Ms Williams said that the second woman involved in the attack has not been prosecuted. Supt Flavin confirmed that the woman in question had been dealt with by gardai through the adult caution system.

Judge Larkin told Ms Williams “I’m not impressed with statements like ‘I didn’t start it’. [Enright] made herself available for this ‘undignified’ incident”. Referring to Enright’s previous convictions, the judge asked “did she not start them either?”.

Ms Williams said that Enright was not offering an excuse, “merely a mitigating factor”.

The court heard that the sole income in Enright’s household is her husband’s €392 per week. Ms Williams said that Enright was willing to offer the victim €500 in compensation, with €350 to be paid in January, and a further €150 in February.

Judge Larkin placed Enright on a probation bond for one year, and referred her for treatment on “anger management” and alcohol awareness programmes.

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