Woman pays for damaging van in parking row after 13 years of 'bickering' with neighbour
Published 12/08/2016 | 17:15
A woman who damaged a neighbour's van in a row over parking has avoided a conviction after she paid for the damages.
Jean Shanahan (55) bent the van's wing mirror when she became annoyed because it was parked outside her house.
A court heard the neighbours had a "toxic relationship" and had been bickering for 13 years.
The defendant and her husband had fallen out with their neighbours, the Montgomerys, years earlier over building work carried out on one of their homes.
Judge Grainne O'Neill app-lied the Probation Act after the defendant paid compensation of €245.
Shanahan, who has a hearing impairment, was excused from attending Dublin District Court if the money was available.
The defendant, of Alpine Heights, Clondalkin, had pleaded guilty to damaging the van, owned by her neighbour, James Montgomery.
The incident happened at 4.40pm on June 5, 2014.
The victim's van was outside on the road when "words were exchanged" and Shanahan pushed back the wing mirror, damaging it.
On the day, Mr Montgomery had parked the van outside and the majority of it was in front of the Shanahans' house.
Defence solicitor Alan Doyle previously said Shanahan had been out sweeping the road and the van had driven over her brush.
"That got her excited," Mr Doyle said, adding that it was clear on CCTV footage she was trying to remonstrate with Mr Montgomery and tried to open the door and "then slaps the wing mirror".
She was surprised by the damage that was caused.
The prosecuting garda said he did not believe the brush was driven over "on that day".
Mr Doyle said his instructions were that it was that day.
"This is terribly unfortunate, it's very sad that it's come to this," he said.
The defendant and her husband had been friends with the Montgomerys until 13 years ago when there was a "falling out in the relationship which has been quite toxic ever since," he said.
Gardai received regular "trivial and petty" complaints from each side, and both couples had set up CCTV cameras on their homes to "catch the other out", Mr Doyle added.
When the matter came before the court again, Mr Doyle said the compensation was available.