Wednesday 21 February 2018

Blackrock student threw glass at nurse in moment of jealousy - court

Judge Martin Nolan
Judge Martin Nolan

By Nicola Donnelly

A science student who threw a glass at a student nurse in a moment of jealousy, damaging the nurse’s teeth, has been given a suspended sentence.

Sarah Nolan (22) claimed she only wanted to throw water over Hannah Foster (22), and did not mean to hit her in the mouth with the glass.

Nolan, of Richmond Grove in Blackrock, Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Ms Foster at a nightclub in Temple Bar on September 23, 2011.

Garda Derek Brereton told prosecuting counsel Fiona McGowan BL, that Ms Foster was on a night out with her friends in Temple Bar when Nolan “came from nowhere” and started to shout at Ms Foster, who was talking to Nolan’s boyfriend, the late Ciaran Carr.

Ms Foster was friends with Mr Carr for ten years, the court heard.

“The defendant swung a glass at Ms Foster, hitting her in the mouth,” said Gda Brereton.

Door staff immediately went over to Nolan and Ms Foster and brought them away separately.

Nolan told door staff that it was an accident and that she did not mean to hit Ms Foster.

“The defendant said she was upset with her boyfriend and when she saw him talking to Ms Foster she threw a glass of water at her. The butt of the glass hit Ms Foster in the mouth,” said Gda Brereton.

Ms Foster was brought to Dublin Dental University Hospital where it was discovered she had nerve damage to her mouth, cracked front teeth and a loose upper incisor.

She requires continuous treatment and an implant, costing in the region of €24,000.

Ms Foster told the court that because of the assault, she missed out on the first few weeks of college, her confidence has diminished and she is fearful and stressed when she goes on a night out.

“I cannot comprehend why she did this to me,” said Ms Foster.

Judge Martin Nolan agreed with Ms Foster that teeth damage was quite painful and he understood  the stress and trauma Ms Foster was going through as he said he sustained teeth damage during his hurling days.

Defence counsel Pat Reynolds BL, said Nolan’s actions were “stupid and reckless” and she had no intention of hitting Ms Foster with the glass.

“She intended to just throw water and now has to face the consequences of her actions,” Mr Reynolds said, adding that Nolan was the recipient of an An Gaisce President’s Award in 2008.

He said Nolan, who is in her final year studying science at Tallaght IT, has worked 30 hours a week while in college and handed €5,000 in compensation to Ms Foster.

In sentencing Nolan to one year in prison which he suspended for two years, Judge Nolan said: “Unfortunately for everyone the defendant behaved in a reckless manner and did not intend to cause damage to Ms Foster’s teeth. It is a crime to recklessly injure someone.”

He also ordered that Nolan pay a further €3,000 in compensation to Ms Foster within three years.

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