Barrister to appeal conviction of 'breaking creche owner's nose in head-butting assault'
Court hears that owner Marian Wallace is now suing barrister for damages for assault, battery and trespass
A Belfast barrister told a judge today he is appealing a conviction and three-year suspended jail sentence for assaulting a 60-year-old Dublin crèche manager just over two years ago.
Marian Wallace, of Mount Anville Wood, Lower Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, Dublin, had claimed at the criminal trial in July last year that barrister Michael Waters broke her nose in a head-butting assault at a child nursery.
Matthew Jolley, counsel for Ms Wallace, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court today that she was now suing Waters for damages for assault, battery and trespass.
Waters, a qualified barrister, of Apartment 5, 23 Ava Avenue, Belfast, was found guilty by a jury in The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in July 2013 of assaulting Ms Wallace at the “Busy Bees Creche,” Lower Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, in January 2012.
Judge Patricia Ryan had adjourned sentencing for three months and in October last gave Waters a suspended three-year jail sentence.
She ordered Waters, who is disabled and suffers from a progressive muscle-wasting condition, not to make contact with Ms Wallace or her staff for 15 years.
Judge Ryan said she was taking into consideration the severity of the crime as well as mitigating factors including Waters’ previous good character, his disability and his remorse for carrying out the assault.
Mr Jolley told the Circuit Civil Court today that legal proceedings claiming damages of €38,000 had been issued by Ms Wallace against Waters and although he had already been granted six weeks in which to lodge a defence he had failed to do so.
Ms Wallace was seeking judgment against him in default of defence and opposing a motion by Waters, who represented himself, seeking to have her damages claim struck out on the grounds of an alleged fraudulent claim in excess of €4,000 loss of earnings and failure to disclose specific particulars of her case.
Waters alleged in court today that his son, who had been attending the crèche, had been locked in a room for more than 20 minutes and “the counter narrative” to Ms Wallace’s claim would be one of child abduction.
Judge Linnane dismissed Mr Waters’s motion to strike out Ms Wallace’s damages claim.
Solicitors O’Brien Dunne, for Ms Wallace, had furnished full and accurate replies to particulars sought by Waters and the court’s view was that the case being made by Ms Wallace had been clearly set out in her personal injuries summons and in replies to particulars already delivered.
Judge Linnane granted Ms Wallace judgment against Waters in default of defence with damages to be assessed by another judge but put a stay of 14 days on her order to give Mr Waters a further chance to enter a defence to the claims he was facing.