Saturday 17 March 2018

Barrister broke my nose with headbutt, creche boss tells court

Jessie Magee

A BARRISTER has denied head-butting the director of a creche and breaking her nose.

Michael Waters (41), of Ava Avenue, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting the woman at the Dublin creche on January 4 last year.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told prosecuting barrister Colm O'Briain she was at home beside the creche on the day in question when one of her staff phoned to say Mr Waters had arrived.

She said she ran around to the creche and asked Mr Waters if she could have a word with him in her office. The woman said that when she repeated that she wanted them to have a chat by themselves, he became upset and pushed her twice.

She added that some of the young children in the room began to cry and get upset when they saw Mr Waters being "quite aggressive" towards her.

She went outside with Mr Waters who turned to go back in. The woman said she had her hand on the door handle blocking Mr Waters from going back into the room.

"He leant back against the door and looked at me quite coldly and said 'I'm going to hurt you'. Then he headbutted me," she said.

She added her nose was bleeding and that Mr Waters said: "I did nothing to you, you did that to yourself" and then turned and tripped over his feet.

The court heard that Mr Waters has a condition that leaves him unsteady on his feet and that a staff member had previously seen him falling over.

Defence barrister Marie Torrens said Mr Waters told gardai that the woman had pushed him, become irate and held the door shut to block him. Mr Waters also said that the woman said she would get a garda to "sort him out".

The defendant also said the woman had become physical with him, dragging him to the ground twice. He said the woman's injuries came from when she pulled him from behind and he lost his balance and fell on top of her. "This was pure accident," said Ms Torrens.

The woman said that was not what happened. "I was absolutely shocked that a member of the legal profession and a man of his age would attack me, a lady who was minding children," she said.

Three staff members at the creche gave evidence that they had seen Mr Waters become "angry and aggressive" and said they were very frightened for the safety of the children, the creche director and themselves.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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