Imposing a conviction and a suspended sentence against Ruth McKinley at last week’s sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon District Court, Judge Kevin P Kilrane said, “She was charged with section two assault, she could and should have been charged with section three assault.”
The injured party, Charlene Moran, gave evidence that she was walking home on her own on October 15, 2017 at Priests Lane, Townparks, Carrick-on-Shannon when she heard her name being called out.
She recalled turning around and observing the defendant, Ruth McKinley, 27 St Badens Terrace, Culduff, Co Donegal who approached her and then punched her in the right eye before kicking and punching her in the head while her hair was also pulled.
Ms Moran said she noticed two Gardaí across the road and she “begged them for help.”
She added, “The following day I tried to brush my hair and it started falling out.”
Ms Moran said she has received counseling and therapy following the incident.
Under cross-examination from defending solicitor John McNulty, Ms Moran said, “This was an unprovoked attack.
“I was walking home minding my own business and I was mauled.”
When it was put to her by Mr McNulty that she was shouting abuse Ms Moran replied, “If I was screaming and shouting it was for a reason.”
When asked if she dropped her bag and said ‘let’s do this’ when she was approached by Ms McKinley, Ms Moran replied, “When I saw her running towards me I dropped my bag. I don’t remember saying that.”
Ms Moran added, “There were Guards there on the night who witnessed what happened.”
Outlining his client's circumstances, Mr McNulty said she is a single mother of one child who lives on her own and was in Carrick-on-Shannon visiting a friend.
Mr McNulty added, “She accepts and made a full admission words were exchanged and there was an altercation.
“She co-operated fully and pleaded guilty. I think she should be given a chance. She didn’t come looking for trouble.”
Having heard the evidence Judge Kilrane remarked, “I am satisfied she assaulted Ms Moran.”
Judge Kilrane continued, “She bet her to the ground, punched her, kicked her and pulled her hair.
“She is charged with section two assault but it could and should have been section three assault (causing harm).
Judge Kilrane imposed a conviction and a three month prison sentence, suspended for a period of two years on the condition that she is not convicted of any public order offence other than section four for a period of two years.
Recognisance in the event of an appeal was fixed at €300 own bond, cash.