A woman has been cleared of a public order offence in which she was accused of punching and kicking a homeless woman on the ground.
Christine Ivory (40) was seen by a garda throwing punches and kicks but insisted she was provoked because the woman struck her on the head first and threatened her.
Judge Cormac Dunne dismissed the case against her at Dublin District Court, saying he would give her the benefit of the doubt.
Ms Ivory, with an address at Henrietta House, Henrietta Street, pleaded not guilty to causing a breach of the peace in the incident.
GARDA JOHN MORRISSEY TOLD THE COURT HE WAS ON PATROL AT 8.05PM ON FEBRUARY 24 LAST WHEN HE WAS FLAGGED DOWN BY A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC.
He went to the scene and saw Ms Ivory standing over another woman.
She was punching and kicking the woman, who was lying on the ground, the garda said.
He separated the two and Ms Ivory continued lashing and kicking out at the other woman, but did not make further contact, the garda said.
The woman declined to make a complaint when asked.
The accused's eyes were glassy and she smelled strongly of alcohol.
She resisted arrest and had to be put forcibly to the pavement, Garda Morrissey said.
Ms Ivory said she had been passing a queue outside a homeless services centre that was providing food when she was struck on the back of the head by the woman.
She told the court she felt she had been provoked during the alleged incident.
"She was saying she would get me and my children," the accused said. "I was defending myself."
THE COURT HEARD MS IVORY WENT TO HOSPITAL TO HAVE HER HEAD X-RAYED AFTER THE INCIDENT.
A witness said he saw the other woman strike the defendant on the head with something in her hand.
She turned and the two women began "swinging out at each other".
Judge Dunne said he would give the defendant the benefit of the doubt "on the basis that she was struck and mightn't have had the judgement skills that she should have had.
"You have got a chance today that you probably don't deserve," the judge told her.
"If you are caught again, there is no second chance."