Monday 23 September 2019

'You can't slap someone else's child' - judge convicts woman of assault after she slapped teen who kicked ball at house

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A District Court judge convicted a woman of assault after hearing that she had slapped a young teenage boy in the face after he had kicked a ball at her door.

The court heard the slap was sufficiently hard to have 'reddened' the boy about the ear.

Dace Reboka, 61 Lartigue Village, Listowel, pleaded guilty to assault - which occurred on October 15 of 2017 - before Judge David Waters at Listowel District Court on Friday.

Sergeant Kieran O'Connell informed Judge Waters that gardaí were called to the scene on the day, explaining that the injured party, a teenager, had accidentally kicked a ball against the defendant's door.

The accused came out from her house, she was very angry and slapped the young lad across the face, adding that the force of the blow was enough to have 'reddened his ear'.

A victim impact statement was furnished to Judge Waters. The court heard that Ms Reboka had no previous convictions.

"While there is some dispute about the level of force applied to the minor's face... nonetheless she accepts there was some force and that she should not have done this," Ms Reboka's solicitor Ann Keane said.

She described her client as an ordinarily very 'gentle' person: "She is a very gentle and mild-mannered woman who never came to garda attention before and is highly unlikely to come to garda attention in the future."

Ms Keane described Ms Reboka, as a very peaceful and hard-working mother who enjoys a good relationship with neighbours.

"Ms Reboka is at present working in the family home but hopes that when her family is older to gain employment," Ms Keane explained, saying her client has a background in hospitality - the sector her husband works in - and would seek to find work in that area in future.

Ms Keane said the State would accept the assault was not a very 'serious' one. Judge Waters said he could not accept the solicitor's contention.

"She can't slap someone else's child," the Judge said.

Ms Keane also alluded to a 'background to the case', asking the Judge to apply the Probation Act and not to convict.

"A conviction would be very damaging for her employment options in the future," she argued.

The Judge heard there was no apology or offer of compensation to the victim; which he said 'might have helped with the result of this assault on the individual, which I won't go into in open court'. The Judge said he would not leave her without a conviction in those circumstances, convicting and fining Ms Reboka €250.


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