Woman who slashed former roommate in the face with a razor blade is given suspended two year sentence

The court heard that Karen Dullaghan with an address at the Simon Community in Dundalk initially told the victim to cut herself and after the woman refused she said it had to happen as she was under orders.

The court heard that Karen Dullaghan with an address at the Simon Community in Dundalk initially told the victim to cut herself and after the woman refused she said it had to happen as she was under orders.

The 27 year old pleaded guilty to assault causing harm arising out of the incident at Barrack Street, Dundalk on the 31st of July last year.

The court heard last Thursday that the two women had previously shared a room in the Simon Community and the defendant had arranged to meet the victim to get cigarettes from her.The court was told that when they met Karen Dullaghan took out a razor blade from her pocked and invited her former roommate to cut herself.When the woman asked why the accused told her “to be honest it has to be done” and she said she’d been sent by someone who the court heard had “a criminal propensity” and “an undue influence on the women”.

The court heard the defendant cut herself on the back of her hand saying “look it’s easy” but when the injured party refused, she swiped at her cutting the woman’s left cheek.

The injured party was taken to hospital by taxi but gardai investigating the assault had been unable to trace the taxi driver.

The Defence barrister said her client - who had no previous convictions, had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had made a full and frank admission to gardai.

She added the accused was vulnerable due to a chronic heroin addiction at the time and had been preyed on by an individual known to the gardai, who is now dead.

The barrister said there was desperation at the time “and horror at what she had become as a result of her addiction”.

The court heard Ms. Dullaghan stopped abusing drugs in October 2011 and has turned her back on drugs having completed a 20 week treatment programme.

The Defence barrister claimed her client “certainly was touched by evil and turned her back on it”.

Judge Michael O’Shea said it was “extraordinary and unusual behavior” and described it as a shocking and unprovoked attack but he said he accepted the accused was vulnerable and there was a “sinister and horrible person in the background”.

He imposed a two year sentence suspended on the accused entering a good behavior bond. The Judge added he was requesting that the defendant to inform the Probation service of any change of address and continue to engage with the counseling service she’s been attending as well as the Simon Community’s resettlement team and mental health services.