Sunday 17 November 2019

Mother-of-four sat on woman and choked her for 'spreading rumours on Facebook'

Sligo Court House
Sligo Court House

A mother of four who sat on another woman and choked her has been convicted of assault.

Georgina McManus (37) of Caltragh Crescent, Sligo was charged with assault causing harm to Nadine Regan at 45 Langan Drive, Cranmore on July 16th 2014.

Inspector Paul Kilcoyne told Sligo District Court that Ms Regan had been previously in a relationship with McManus' brother.

The defendant went to her house and accused her of spreading rumours on Facebook.

Taking the witness stand, Ms Regan said McManus came to her home and she answered the door.

"We had an argument. I was calm. She was more up, on a high. She verbally abused me and then attacked me," she told the court.

"She lunged at me and sat on top of me, hitting me while sitting on me," she said.

"I picked up something to hit her and hit my head off the fireplace. She was so heavy I fell back into a corner. Her knees were on my chest. She was hitting me, scraping and choking me. I was pinned down. I started to lose my breath. Then she ran out the door," said Ms Regan.

The witness said McManus also picked up a framed picture of her daughter and hit her with it.

Mr Tom MacSharry, defending, asked Ms Regan if they used to get on well: "Sometimes," replied Ms Regan.

"My client will say that a phone number was put up on Facebook. Was there an issue in relation to Facebook?" he asked the witness under cross-examination. "No," said Ms Regan.

"You hit her with an elephant type plank of wood," said Mr MacSharry.

"Yes, I did strike her with a wooden elephant because she was on top of me and it was all I could reach," replied the woman.

"I knocked it out of her hand because she went to hit me with it first," she added.

"My client will say she was acting in self-defence," said Mr MacSharry. "She's lying," said Ms Regan.

Garda McDonnell gave evidence of seeing "picture frames on the ground" after the incident. "It was quite evident there had been a disturbance," he told the court.

"There were scratch marks on her right hand side. She was quite shaken up at the time," he said.

Georgina McManus, in evidence, said it was the first time they ever fell out. "We were arguing at the door. She hit me with the elephant thing. We had a wee bit of a shuffle in the hall. I kinda went into shock. I was bleeding from my head, I was dizzy. There was a lot of shuffling in the hall," she told her solicitor.

Under cross-examination by Inspector Kilcoyne, McManus said Ms Regan's injuries had "got nothing to do with me."

"I've four children. This is not me at all. She had an argument that morning in Garavogue Villas with her sister-in-law," she said.

She denied she had fought with Ms Regan in the sitting room: "The only place we had a row was in the hallway and at the front door."

Judge Kilrane convicted McManus. Mr MacSharry said his client had no previous convictions and this was "a particularly nasty conviction."

"She's a mother of four children, never been before the court before. It will drive a wedge between herself and her niece's mother," he told Judge Kilrane.

The judge said McManus went to Ms Regan's house "in a certain mood" and "it may be well she was launching a verbal attack which Ms Regan laughed at."

"If it was self-defence how come it spilled into the sitting room?" he asked. Referring to the wooden elephant, Judge Kilrane said "these ornaments are never found in the hall of a house. They're to be found in sitting rooms."

"It's a pity she didn't try to mend fences. It would be better for her if she just admitted she lost it at the front door, admit it and apologise," he told the court.

"There is no admittance or apology here, things are turned on it's head. Had there been a plea, I would have adjourned this to monitor," he said.

He fined McManus €200.

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