Sunday 22 September 2019

Woman bit inspector after Leap card seized

Clondalkin Fonthill Station
Clondalkin Fonthill Station
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A RAIL passenger bit a ticket inspector and scraped another when they tried to restrain her after finding her with an invalid Leap card.

Fatima Bello (21), a student, assaulted the two men as she became violent on a train in west Dublin.

Judge David McHugh applied the Probation Act.

Bello pleaded guilty to assaulting two Iarnrod Eireann staff members.

Blanchardstown District Court heard the incident happened at Fonthill Railway Station at 11am on March 9 last.

The accused, of Garden Green Apartments, Garden Village, Portlaoise, had an invalid Leap card and when it was seized by a ticket checker the accused became violent.

The court heard she bit one of the men and scraped the other on the neck.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming said once Bello's ticket was taken, she tried to grab it back. She did not succeed and went back to get her belongings, then tried to exit the train.

Mr Fleming said the assault happened as the two men were trying to restrain her and she was trying to escape.

The accused had one previous assault conviction, the court heard. "She has learned a big lesson," Mr Fleming said.

"Why didn't she learn it on the last occasion she was up for assault?" the judge asked.

Bello had difficulty "dealing with everyday life", Mr Fleming said.

"She has taken on board that these men were only doing their jobs and they are entitled to do so."

Judge McHugh noted that, from a report on the accused, she "appears to have suffered a lot in her country of origin".

He warned that if she came back before the court again on similar charges she would be in "considerable difficulty".

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