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Jury's out in face-slash trial

A JURY has begun their deliberations in the trial of a couple accused of slashing a journalist's face after a row outside a restaurant.

Ruth Barry (33) of Caledon Road, Eastwall, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to using a blade, robbery and recklessly causing harm to Jennifer Bray, a freelance reporter, and assaulting Neil Callanan.

Ms Barry's boyfriend, Jonathan O'Brien (31) of Upper Dominic Street, has pleaded not guilty to slashing Ms Bray's face with a knife and using a knife in a dispute on June 25, 2010.

Boy fined over knuckle-duster

A YOUTH who was found in possession of knuckle-dusters during a public order disturbance, has been ordered to pay ¤100 to charity after a judge said "I always hit the pocket".

The 17-year-old admitted having the hand-worn weapon on him during an incident at Emmett Road, in Dublin 8, on a date in January and he also pleaded guilty to a connected breach of the peace charge.

Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin at the Dublin Children's Court said he would be spared a criminal conviction if he pays the money and does not re-offend.

Pure ecstasy is safe -- claim

British Columbia's top health official said taking pure ecstasy can be safe when consumed responsibly by adults, despite warnings by police about the dangers of the street drug after a rash of deaths.

Dr Perry Kendall said that the risks of MDMA -- the pure substance synonymous with ecstasy -- are overblown, and that its lethal dangers arise when gangs mix the man-made chemical with other toxic substances.