Mum in fork attack after Facebook spat

Nicola Donnelly

A ROW that started on Facebook spiralled to the point where a woman was stabbed in the face with a fork, a court has heard.

A woman was left with a permanent scar after her online spat with a young mother-of-three turned physical.

Karina Lester (24) was given a nine-month suspended sentence for stabbing Claire Kane three times in the face after the victim arrived at her house to discuss an ongoing row the pair had through texting and Facebook entries.

After around three months of exchanges, Ms Kane decided to confront Ms Lester in person, resulting in a shouting match, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told.

Lester of St Anthony's, Myrtle Avenue in Dun Laoghaire pleaded guilty to the production of a fork during the dispute at her home on August 25, 2010.

Garda William Brosnan told the court: "There was an exchange of texts and Facebook entries of an unpleasant nature between the two and certain allegations of rumours being spread about Lester's boyfriend."

An entry on Ms Kane's Facebook page prompted her to go to Lester's house for a "shouting match" to resolve their issues.

Ms Kane arrived at Lester's house at around 11pm while Lester and her boyfriend were eating a Chinese takeaway.

Ms Kane knocked on the sitting room window and when Lester's boyfriend went outside, the woman demanded to see Lester to ask why she was spreading rumours about her.

"Both women started shouting at each other, calling each other 'knackers' and 'fat ugly bitch' when Ms Kane attempted to throw a punch at Ms Lester but hit her boyfriend instead on the nose," said Gda Brosnan.

Both Lester and her boyfriend went indoors and Ms Kane started to throw pebbles at the window. Lester went outside where, according to Gda Brosnan, "they went for each other in a full-on row."

Lester brought the fork she was eating her dinner with outside with her and inflicted facial injuries including a 3cm cut to the victim's cheek and a 1cm cut to her upper lip, all of which required stitches.

Lester's counsel Justin McQuade said she realised she should not have brought the fork outside but "wasn't thinking at the time" and was now remorseful.

Judge Patrick McCartan suspended the sentence for three years and said the offence was a "serious matter".

"But it has to be said, Ms Kane was to some degree the instigator and there was a long history between the pair, which has now abated as both are staying apart from each other," he added.