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Mum in knife threat after insult at party

A NAIL technician who was assaulted and told she was a "bad mother" by a couple at a house party has claimed she picked up a kitchen knife as she feared she would be attacked again on the way home, a court heard.

Shauna Baxter (21) was brandishing the knife, challenging partygoers not to come near her or she would use it, when gardai arrived at the scene.

She also had blood on her face and Baxter, her partner Declan Dooey (25) and another couple were all drunk and roaring and shouting at each other outside the house.

A judge fined the couple and ordered Baxter to complete community service.

Dooey and Baxter, of Pinewood Green Avenue, Balbriggan, admitted before Swords District Court to public drunkenness and threatening and abusive behaviour.

Baxter also admitted to producing a weapon in the course of a dispute. The incident took place at Bremore Pastures Park and Harry Reynolds Road, Balbriggan shortly before 5am on July 26, 2009.

Garda Ross Rowan said he was called to a dispute at a house party. There was blood on the walls and a window of an adjacent property was smashed.

The court heard Baxter was holding a kitchen knife when gardai arrived.

She was challenging other partygoers not to come near her or she would use it.

Baxter dropped the knife when gardai arrived.

Defence lawyer Brendan Foley said Dooey, a fisherman, was asleep when the fight started, and reacted as he did because Baxter was in fear and had been assaulted.

Mr Foley said the couple have a young child, and Baxter was accused of being a bad mother by another couple at the party. She didn't react but was assaulted, and ended up with blood on her face.

She grabbed the knife as they left the house, purely for her own safety.

Gda Rowan said Baxter never made a statement about the alleged assault, and Mr Foley said the two couples have since reconciled.

Judge Patrick Brady fined Dooey €1,100 and he ordered Baxter to donate €500 to St Vincent de Paul.

In relation to the knife charge, the judge ordered her to complete 150 hours community service in lieu of six months in prison.