Wednesday 20 February 2019

Young woman kicked and punched former friend in the head 'over a relationship with a boy', court hears

Charmaine Craig (of Shancastle Drive, Clondalkin; Asault causing harm) leaving Blanchardstown District Court Pic: Caroline Quinn
Charmaine Craig (of Shancastle Drive, Clondalkin; Asault causing harm) leaving Blanchardstown District Court Pic: Caroline Quinn
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A YOUNG woman viciously assaulted her former friend “over a relationship” with a boy, kicking and punching her in the head.

Charmaine Craig (19) attacked the other woman at a Dublin supermarket, leaving her with head injuries that doctors told her “would have been way worse” if she had suffered one more blow.

A court heard it was further alleged that Craig had continued to “torment” the victim after the attack, calling her a “slut”, a “smelly rat” and threatening her at one stage that she would “leave her in a bloodbath.”

The case was adjourned after Blanchardstown District Court heard Craig, who pleaded guilty to assault, had not previously read the victim impact statement in which these further allegations were made.

Judge David McHugh remanded Craig on continuing bail to consult her lawyer, and for a pre-sentence probation report.

Craig, of Shancastle Drive, Clondalkin, admitted assault causing harm to Nichole Griffin.

The court heard the incident happened at Supervalu, Neilstown Road, Clondalkin on July 5, 2017.

Garda Sergeant John Paul Cushen said the victim received a number of kicks and punches to the head and body by the defendant.

Gardai were called to the scene and statements were taken at a later date. Craig had written a letter of apology to Ms Griffin a number of weeks ago.

A medical report by an emergency consultant at Tallaght Hospital was handed in to court, along with photographs of Ms Griffin's injuries and a victim impact statement.

Sgt Cushen agreed with solicitor John Shanley that Craig had made admissions at the first available opportunity.

She said the incident happened because of “a relationship that was over.” At one stage the defendant and the victim were friends.

Craig had indicated she wanted to make amends and compensate the victim, Mr Shanley said.

Sgt Cushen said this was correct but the letter given to Ms Griffin was not accepted.

She initially indicated that she wanted to come to court to speak, but had second thoughts.

He then read out the victim impact statement at the judge’s request.

In it, Ms Griffin said she was “viciously attacked for no reason at all” and “my whole life was turned upside down.”

Since the attack, she said she suffered from depression and anxiety and for six months after it she would not go anywhere without her parents. She failed her first year in college due to anxiety and was attending counselling, the statement continued.

What happened put a “big strain on my family relationships” and daily life, she said.

“No-one should have to live in fear of someone else,” Ms Griffin continued in her statement.

When she started going out nightclubbing again, Craig would still shout “slut” and “smelly rat” at her, she said.

Ms Griffin told the court in her statement Craig said to her “I’m going to leave you in a bloodbath.”

Once, outside a Nando’s, she saw Craig in her black Audi A1 and alleged Craig again threatened her.

Ms Griffin said she had gone for tests and when she got her MRI result, she was told she was lucky, that “another hit or blow to the head and things would have been way worse.”

She had not wanted to read the accused’s letter of apology as she “felt sick to my stomach.”

“To go through such a vicious, horrific attack at 19 years old was not easy at all,” she said.

Mr Shanley said the victim impact statement mentioned alleged incidents after the assault and he had not taken instructions from his client on this.

Judge McHugh said it had been a “very vicious attack” on the victim and his concern was that the victim impact statement “would suggest that this lady had continued after the assault, it is alleged, to torment the injured party further.”

The judge adjourned the case for a pre-sentence probation report and to allow Mr Shanley to take instructions.

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