Judge: 'Your evidence is a cock & bull story'

Sinead Kelleher

A Tralee woman accused of assault causing harm denied telling lies to the court about what happened on that day.

"I don't lie, my Mom is an ex-nun," she said when cross-examined by Inspector Donal Ashe who said she told the court "nonsense" and that she had arrived drunk and kicked off the incident. 

Noreen Flannery, of 6 Cois Coille was before Tralee District Court last week for assault causing harm to William O'Sullivan at 6 Cois Coille on January 20, 2018. 

Noreen Flannery told the Court that she did not commit assault, but was in fact the victim of an assault herself. 

Her partner, Joe O'Shea, also attested to this but came under sharp rebuke from Judge David Waters who described Mr O'Shea's evidence as "a load of  nonsense", "made-up" "a cock and bull story" and a "fairytale".

The Judge warned Mr O'Shea to be careful about what he was saying.  He said that Mr O'Shea's story had done "immeasurable harm" to the case and that the witness had likely perjured himself.

"I have no doubt that if it was proven in some way that he had committed perjury I would be satisfied to send him to jail," said Judge Waters. 

The injured party William O'Sullivan gave evidence that he had been helping Joe O'Shea at his house when his partner, Noreen, had "kicked off" and started breaking things, fighting with her partner and spitting and punching. 

He said that he had stepped in as he "didn't like the way she was treating Joe".  

Noreen attacked him and was trying to push him out of the house "because she didn't like him" when they both fell and Noreen landed on him, breaking his wrist. 

Mr O'Sullivan underwent surgery to get a plate inserted as a result of the injury.  

Mr O'Sullivan, under cross examination, said he and Joe O'Shea had had a 'few cans', but denied they were drinking all day. He also denied that he was the one trying to push Noreen out of the house and that he caused the damage to his own wrist. 

"You were the author of your own misfortune," said defence solicitor, Pat Mann. 

But Joe O'Shea told the court that William's partner had come to the house, telling him that William had gone "berserk" in evidence that led to a warning from the Judge to be "careful" "You have sworn on the Bible. Think long and hard," said Judge Waters. 

Mr O'Shea said that he remembers "everything" and that Mr O'Sullivan had hit Noreen in the stomach.

He added that he heard commotion at the door and that "Noreen was flat out and he (William) was on top of her" and that he had slipped and broken his wrist. But Judge Waters said Mr O'Shea had presented "what can only be described as fairytale". 

Noreen Flannery  said in her evidence that she was sober at the time having been off the drink for 12 weeks and that she had arrived at Joe's house and that William and his girlfriend, Stephanie were there. 

William had tried to push her out and hit her and she landed on the floor before "passing out". 

She said she had not called the gardaí on the night because she didn't want to cause trouble as she was trying to straighten her life out.  She insisted she was telling the truth and that Mr O'Sullivan was the one telling "lies". 

"My mom is an ex-nun, I don't lie," Ms Flannery exclaimed.

"We had no argument. It is lies, what William said is wrong."

Judge Waters said that he had "no hesitation in convicting her" following the "rubbish" that was told in the court.

"I have no doubt that the incident happened broadly as outlined [by Mr O'Sullivan]." 

The court heard that Noreen Flannery has 13 previous convictions including a section 2 assault.  Mr Mann said his client has problems with alcohol and that there was an "alcohol regime in the house". 

"The partner told me a cock and bull story," said Judge Waters in conclusion. 

Mr Mann pleaded with Judge Waters not to blame his client for that evidence. 

Judge Waters sentenced Ms Flannery to a three-month suspended sentence.

Kerryman

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