Monday 23 April 2018

Beauty therapist who hit garda several times and had to be pulled away by family 'was angry at boyfriend'

Jenny Coleman may avoid a prison sentence for the attack
Jenny Coleman may avoid a prison sentence for the attack

Nicola Donnelly

A beauty therapist who punched a garda several times in the head and face after she had a disagreement with her boyfriend has been ordered to pay €1,000 in compensation to the officer.

Jenny Coleman (21) may also avoid a prison sentence if she is deemed suitable for community service work.

She lashed out at Gda Aidan O’Halloran and shouted, “What are you c***s doing here? I didn’t call you”, when gardai arrived at her home to investigate a disturbance on St Patrick’s Day.

She also shouted, “Who the f**k do you think you are telling my boyfriend he can’t go into my house”, after her mother had called the gardai.

Sgt Tony Tighe said there were people gathered in the front garden of the house when gardai arrived.

He said a male became abusive and was arrested. While he was being arrested by another garda, Coleman struck Gda O’Halloran in the face and head a number of times.

Gda O’Halloran went to help the arresting officer but Coleman punched him again in the head and face.

“Her family had to pull her away and then she was arrested,” said Sgt Tighe.

The sergeant said Gda O’Halloran received minor bruising to his face and head and handed photos of the injuries to Judge Dermot Dempsey.

Coleman, of St Patrick’s Close, Skerries, pleaded guilty to obstructing gardai, using threatening and abusive behaviour and assaulting Gda O’Halloran on St Patrick’s Day at her home.

Her solicitor told the court that Coleman has difficulties with anger management and on the night had a disagreement with her boyfriend and “reacted disproportionally”.

The judge questioned why it was a Section 2 assault Coleman was charged with rather than the more serious Section 3 assault causing harm offence.

“If any member of Joe Public suffered these injuries it would be a Section 3 assault causing harm charge,” said Judge Dempsey. “Gardai don’t seem to be entitled to the Section 3.”

Coleman’s solicitor said her client had not been drinking on the night but had a falling out with her boyfriend.

“Her anger was directed at her boyfriend but it was misdirected towards the garda and the outcome of this was the garda was injured,” the solicitor said, asking the court to give Coleman time to come up with money as a charitable contribution, adding that she had €200 with her in court.

Judge Dempsey refused to accept the money as a charitable contribution and ordered her to come up with a “realistic figure” for Gda O’Halloran.

He also questioned why Coleman had not gone back to the garda to apologise directly.

The judge adjourned the case until early next year for Coleman to come up with €1,000 and for a probation report to be compiled to see if she is suitable for 240 hours of community service in lieu of a prison sentence.

He also ordered Coleman to personally apologise to Gda O’Halloran and requested an updated anger management report.

“It’s custody she’ll be lucky to avoid – not a conviction,” warned Judge Dempsey.

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