Monday 11 December 2017

Young mother spared jail for assaulting woman with hammer after she was woken up by shouting outside bedroom window

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Declan Brennan

A young mother has been spared jail for assaulting a woman after she was woken up by shouting outside her bedroom window in the early morning.

Natasha Kavanagh (24) of La Rochelle Apartments, Lamb Ally, Dublin struck Catriona Traynor with a hammer after getting into a row with the victim and her friend Karen Carter over the disturbance, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

The two victims of the assault had arrived at the apartment block on Lambe Alley, Dublin city centre at 8am after a night partying. Ms Carter began calling up to the window of her boyfriend's apartment to wake him up.

Kavanagh stuck her head out of her window and told the women to shut up. The women began shouting and abusing each other and Kavanagh then threw a carton of milk down on Ms Carter.

When the shouting continued Kavanagh and her then boyfriend walked down to the women. A scuffle ensued and Ms Traynor ended up on the ground trying to defend herself.

The boyfriend, who is before the court, had a hammer in his hand, and handed it to Kavanagh, Ms Carter told gardaí. Kavanagh then hit Ms Traynor twice on the head.

The victim suffered relatively minor injuries, including cuts to her head and bruising to her neck. A chunk of her hair was also pulled out.

When gardaí arrived they found the two victims sitting on the footpath. Ms Carter was covered in milk while Ms Traynor had blood on her face and cuts on her knees.

After her arrest Kavanagh admitted the assault but said she used a stiletto heal to strike the victim and adamantly denied using the hammer.

She pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Lamb Alley on July 13, 2014. A further charge of production of a hammer during a dispute was taken into consideration on sentencing.

Judge Martin Nolan suspended a sentence of two years on condition Kavanagh keeps the peace and obeys all instructions of the Probation Service for the next year.

He said that it would be unjust to imprison her after hearing mitigating evidence of her dysfunctional background and mental health problems.

Pieter LeVert BL, defending, said that his client was making efforts to put her life back together. He said she had a history of self -harm and had twice been involuntarily sectioned.

He said she wished to repeat in court an apology to the victim made to gardaí after Kavanagh's arrest. Kavanagh's seven previous convictions are for public order and criminal damage offences.

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