Saturday 23 November 2019

Woman who lost sight in one eye after being glassed had warned her alleged attacker to stop smiling at her

Criminal Courts of Justice
Criminal Courts of Justice

By Aaron Rogan

A Dublin woman who lost the sight in her eye after being glassed in a nightclub had warned her alleged attacker to stop smiling at her in the moments before her injury, a trial has heard.

Tara Scott (21) who was with Emma Hammond (22) on the night she allegedly attacked Natasha Mooney (25) gave evidence on the third day of the trial.

Ms Hammond from Poppintree, Ballymun, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing serious harm to Ms Mooney at Dusk Nightclub in the Northside Shopping Centre on March 18, 2013.

Ms Scott said that Ms Mooney and a friend approached her in the smoking area of the nightclub and Ms Mooney told her, “Tell Emma to stop looking me up and down with her little grin.”

Ms Scott said she was aware that the families of Ms Mooney and Ms Hammond had been engaged in a feud for a number of years.

The witness said Ms Mooney then said “Just wait until we get inside.”

Ms Scott said that nothing would happen because she wasn’t going to stand by and let her friend get hit.

She said Ms Mooney replied “we’ll wait until we get her outside then.” Ms Scott said that she would be outside as well, to which Ms Mooney allegedly replied “I’ll do it in my own time then.”

Ms Scott said that she went inside to tell Ms Hammond to get her coat and go but before she got to her Ms Mooney had already started running at her.

Ms Scott said she shouted Ms Hammond’s name and as she turned around the fight started.

Ms Scott said during the altercation she was close enough to get scratches on her face from the shattering glass and drink got in her eyes.

Under cross examination from prosecuting counsel Gerardine Small BL, Ms Scott was shown CCTV footage from the night and identified herself and the other parties involved.

Ms Small said that Ms Scott was being “very clever” and “rowing back” on the statement she made to gardaí which did not mention her seeing the glass shattering.

Ms Scott denied that and said that she only answered questions that were asked of her by the gardaí so did not mention the shattering glass in her interview.

Ms Small said that Ms Scott’s interview with gardaí was incorrect as her account that Ms Mooney threw her glass behind her and towards Ms Scott was contradicted by the CCTV footage. The witness was shown footage of Ms Mooney placing her glass on the bar and accepted her version was incorrect.

She denied it when Ms Small suggested she was “endeavouring to help her friend with her account” but did agree that her recollection was less than perfect.

Under re-examination by defending counsel Garnet Orange SC, Ms Scott said that she had a feeling there was going to be trouble when Ms Mooney arrived.

The trial continues before Judge Desmond Hogan and a jury of six men and six women.

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