Mother-of-two who slashed woman across the face with Stanley knife given four-year sentence
Published 15/07/2014 | 16:26
A Dublin mother-of-two who slashed another woman across the face with a Stanley knife leaving her with a permanent scar has received a four year sentence.
Catherine Spencer (42) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing Karen McMahon harm at a neighbouring flat on the South Circular Road on June 23, 2011.
Her boyfriend and co-accused Rory Ennis (35) of Drumheath Grove, Mulhuddart, pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to committing assault on the same occasion.
He also pleaded guilty to his role in robbing bottles of wine from a Drumcondra Centra with two other males on July 24, 2012.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed also imposed a four year sentence on Ennis. She suspended the final 12 months of both sentences.
Spencer has 27 previous convictions including 12 for public order offences. Ennis has four previous convictions including robbery, drugs and public order offences.
The court heard that during the attack Spencer slashed Ms McMahon about eight times in the face, head and shoulders. She was later treated for a 6cm scar to her face. Before this Ennis was heard shouting at his girlfriend “use it, use it, do her.”
Justin McQuade BL, defending Spencer, said she has a difficult family background and a history of abusing heroin, benzodiazepine and alcohol.
Sean Gillane SC, defending Ennis, said his client has a huge and substantial drug problem with prescription drugs, heroin and alcohol.
He said Ennis worked as an electrician in his late teens but that when he lost work in his mid-twenties he began an accelerated slide into addiction.
The court heard that at the time of the incident, Spencer lived in a flat adjacent to Oissene Pounch on the South Circular Road.
A row broke out following a series of verbal altercations between Mr Pounch and Ennis.
Garda Stephen Walshe told Vincent Heneghan BL, prosecuting, that Mr Pounch had been at home at 11pm on the night when Spencer came in and assaulted him.
Mr Pounch saw Ennis with a knife up his sleeve and felt intimidated.
He managed to slam the door of his flat shut and phoned his girlfriend Linda Fenlon to tell her what had happened.
Ms Fenlon was in McDonalds at the time with her friend Karen McMahon.
The two women went back to Mr Pounch's flat and phoned gardaí on the way. They also met another friend, Craig Courtney, outside the house.
Mr Pounch threw a key down to the group of three and they came up to his flat.
When the group was inside Mr Pounch's flat, there was a banging on the door and Spencer came in, followed by Ennis.
Ms McMahon saw Spencer swing a Stanley knife towards her friend Ms Fenlon's face, and heard Ennis say “Use it, use it, do her.”
Ms Fenlon punched Spencer and knocked the knife from her hand, and some of the group including Mr Pounch managed to barricade themselves into the bedroom for safety.
Spencer said Ms McMahon said “Why the fuck are you here getting involved” and ran her into the kitchen.
Spencer then slashed Ms McMahon about eight times in the face, head and shoulders.
Mr Courtney tried to help Ms McMahon but was prevented by Ennis.
Ms McMahon went to the window and was screaming for help.
Mr Pounch left the bedroom and Spencer held the Stanley knife up to his face and he got a small nick on the mouth.
Gardaí arrived and heard screaming and saw five people pushing and pulling at each other.
They seized a pink-handled steak knife and a black-handled Stanley knife.
Ms McMahon was taken to St James' Hospital where a medical report said she suffered very significant cosmetic injuries, including a 6cm scar to her face.
Mr McQuade said Spencer and her neighbour Mr Pounch had initially had a good relationship but that it deteriorated.