TWO women grappled over a man after he broke off a relationship with one of them and started seeing the other, a court heard.
Jean 'Jenny' Cronin (33) was found not guilty of assaulting Nicole McDonagh, a member of the Naval Service, following a confrontation over Edward Kennedy, with whom Ms Cronin had been in a relationship for 11 years.
A row at Ms McDonagh's home resulted in Ms McDonagh being bitten on the face and hand – while Ms Cronin had to be hospitalised with a fractured jaw.
Ms Cronin, of College Court, Cobh, Co Cork, had denied assault causing harm – and a Circuit Criminal Court jury found her not guilty on all three charges. Ms Cronin had denied assaulting Ms McDonagh at her home in Hermitage Drive, Rushbroke, Cobh on October 1, 2012.
The trial heard that Ms McDonagh suffered bites to her face and hand while Ms Cronin had a broken jaw which later required a plate being surgically implanted.
The trial heard Ms Cronin became suspicious of the movements of her partner Mr Kennedy, who is also a member of the Naval Service. They had been in a relationship for 11 years and Mr Kennedy has Ms Cronin's name tattooed on his chest.
Ms Cronin also claimed that Mr Kennedy had asked her to marry him – a claim that he disputed. The couple had ended their relationship the previous Christmas, but were still living together.
He said he was bombarded with texts from Ms Cronin, who wanted to know where he had been one evening. "I told her I was in a new relationship. I was going to sea on the Monday morning and I told her about Nicole," he said.
He explained he was in the house with Nicole at 12.40am when Jenny arrived and confronted them in the hallway.
"Jenny just lunged at Nicole. She grabbed her by the hair and seemed to be biting her on the face," he said.
Ms McDonagh said she had her hair pulled and her face bitten. "She bit down on the right side of my face down around my lower jaw. I was pushing her face off me. She was pulling my hair. We fell to the ground. She was biting around my left eye."
However, Ms Cronin insisted that she was pushed first by Ms McDonagh.
Ms Cronin admitted that she did bite Ms McDonagh, but insisted it was in self-defence.
The defendant claimed the bite happened as the two women grappled on the ground.
"(But) I accept that I did bite her," Ms Cronin said.
Ms Cronin admitted that she had smashed her phone earlier that day after receiving a text from Ms McDonagh.
She later decided to go to her house to resolve matters.
However, Ms Cronin denied that she was "in a towering rage" and rather was "upset and angry".
Ms McDonagh acknowledged she had probably inflicted the injury that fractured Ms Cronin's jaw.
At one point during the confrontation she said that Mr Kennedy had placed his ex-partner in a bear hug and desperately tried to calm her. But she said Ms Cronin kept roaring: "Let me at her, let me at her."
The trial heard that Ms Cronin was in Cork University Hospital for three days .
Neither woman commented as they left court following the verdict.