Thursday 30 October 2014

Six years sentence for woman who slashed and permanently disfigured mother-of-five

Published 11/07/2014 | 17:33

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

A woman who slashed another woman's face in a “moment of madness or jealousy”, leaving her permanently disfigured, has been given a six year sentence.

Kinsi Abdullah Dirir (33) was convicted of assault causing serious harm to mother-of-five Habiba Songolo (40) at a house on Foxborough Rise, Lucan, Co Dublin on May 17, 2008.

Dirir had denied the charge at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, however she admitted causing criminal damage to a car outside the house on the same day.

The court heard the attack happened after Dirir discovered that her former husband was in a relationship with the victim.

Dirir, a mother-of-three of Hollybrook Park, Clontarf, was acquitted by a jury of carrying a razor blade on the same occasion.

Judge Desmond Hogan said the victim had suffered very serious injuries and continued to suffer traumatic effects, bordering on depression.

He suspended the final 18 months of the sentence for four years, after hearing Dirir's family had offered the sum of €2,000 as compensation to the victim.

Judge Hogan took into account Dirir's long history of mental illness and ordered that she receive appropriate medication in custody.

During the four-day trial, the court heard that Ms Songolo’s former partner had been married to Dirir some years previously and they had two children together.

Ms Songolo told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that she was at home with her former partner and children when she heard knocking at the front door.

Ms Songolo said she went to the sitting room window, put her head out and said, “Kinsi, what do you want?” She said Dirir cut her face.

Ms Songolo held back tears as she described feeling something sharp going through her face and lots of blood from her forehead.

Ms Songolo said she turned around and her two sons said, “Mum, you're bleeding,” and her former partner said, “Kinsi cut your face.”

She ran upstairs, grabbed a towel to stop the flow of blood, and saw Dirir standing in the front garden saying “This is what I will do next.”

She then described Dirir smashing the car windows before making a phone call and walking away slowly.

Ms Songolo was taken to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown where she got 29 stitches on her forehead and face.

Doctors told her it would be a permanent scar and that she had been lucky not to lose her eye.

Ms Songolo told Damian Colgan SC, defending, that she met Dirir in 2005 and they were friends.

She claimed Dirir had already separated from her husband when she began a relationship with him.

Mr Colgan said his client accepted that she had assaulted Ms Songolo but said she acted out of self-defence and used a brick and not a razor blade.

“She has paid the price for perhaps, a moment of madness, a moment of jealousy,” he said.

Dirir, who was born in Somalia and came to Ireland aged six, has no previous convictions. A probation report put her at high risk of re-offending.

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