Friday 18 January 2019

Teen walks free after stabbing girl in face with heel of stiletto

Shannon Jordan who claimed her actions were in self-defence
had left her victim with a fractured eye socket.
Shannon Jordan who claimed her actions were in self-defence had left her victim with a fractured eye socket.

Gordon Deegan

A 19-year-old who repeatedly stabbed another teenage girl with the heel of a stiletto shoe just below the eye yesterday walked free from court.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keys imposed a two-year suspended jail term on Shannon Jordan (19), of Lios Anana, Sixmilebridge, Co Clare, after she pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Natasha Griffin McMahon on August 25, 2015.

In the case, Jordan attacked her victim during a drunken row in Shannon town centre after a school debs ceremony held earlier that night at Limerick Strand Hotel.

Ms Griffin McMahon - aged 17 at the time of the assault - suffered a fractured eye socket and laceration when Ms Jordan used the pointed heel of her shoe to strike her a number of times in the face.

In sentencing yesterday, Judge Keys said that Jordan had made "every effort to rehabilitate yourself as best you could", including an offer to meet with Ms Griffin McMahon as part of a restorative justice programme if her victim wished it. Addressing Jordan after sentencing, Judge Keys said: "Now Ms Jordan, I have no doubt that this has been a bad experience for you - also for your victim as well - but there is absolutely no reason that you shouldn't have a bright future ahead.

"All you have to do is comply with the conditions imposed and I don't think you will be before this court again.

"You must appreciate the seriousness of what took place that night."

The attack hospitalised Ms Griffin McMahon for 10 days before she was discharged on September 4, 2015, while she also required months of post-operative care.

In her victim impact statement read out in court, Ms Griffin McMahon said that she came close to being blinded by the attack, saying that the deepest cut from the stiletto "was millimetres below my eye".

She said: "If it had been even slightly higher, I would have lost my eye completely, or at best my sight.

"It terrifies me to think of how much my life would have been affected if that had happened."

Ms Griffin McMahon said that she had to undergo extensive medical treatment.

She underwent surgery and it was only after four to five months that she began to regain the feeling and movement in the side of her face that was subjected to the stiletto attack.

She said: "It still unnerves me to think how close I came to being blinded. And to how much worse this could have been. It is shocking how quickly a weapon was introduced to this altercation and how dangerous it proved to be."

Ms Griffin McMahon added: "Every time I met with the doctor, they advised me of how fortunate I had been. Fortunate not to have lost my eye and fortunate to have been under such good care at the hospital that they were able to recover the feeling in my face."

It was accepted that Jordan - also 17 at the time - was carrying her shoes in her hand after the night out and did not remove her stiletto shoes for the purpose of attacking Ms Griffin McMahon.

Currently employed as a waitress at a licensed premises in Bunratty, Jordan has been paying compensation to Ms Griffin McMahon at a rate of €50 a week from her modest income since February of last year and has to date paid over €2,300. In total, Jordan must pay €5,000 to her victim. Judge Keys said yesterday that Jordan's conduct on the night was fuelled by alcohol.

Judge Keys said that Jordan had no previous convictions at the time of the assault and comes from a respectable family.

He noted that there is a minimal risk of Jordan re-offending, that she pleaded guilty, co-operated with gardai, made admissions, has shown remorse and has apologised to Ms Griffin McMahon through her counsel.

Judge Keys said that a probation report on Jordan has shown that she has come to realise the consequences of her actions and last August she signed up to a victim empathy programme to increase awareness of harm caused by her offending.

As part of the suspended sentence conditions, Jordan has agreed to pay over the remaining €2,700 at the current rate, not to reoffend and not to be found in a public place or a pub under the influence of alcohol.

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