A woman who used a wheel brace in an unprovoked attack on a woman outside a local supermarket, was given a two and a half year suspended sentence at Dundalk Circuit Court last week
Kate Agnew with an address at Oakland Park, Cox’s Demsene, Dundalk pleaded guilty to assault causing harm, at Dunnes Stores, Ard Easmuinn, Dundalk on the 17th of January last year.
As part of the suspended sentence, the 24 year old had to give an undertaking to keep away from and have no contact with the victim.
The court was told last Friday that the victim of the assault had left Dunnes Stores around lunchtime and was making her way to join her mother in the car park, when she heard shouting and saw two women including Kate Agnew, running towards her “smirking” and saying “We’re going to kill you.”
A scuffle ensued and ended with the victim getting a blow to the head from a wheelbrace.
The court heard there was a history of ill-will between both women’s families since a car accident in 2009 and the defendant perceived herself to be a victim of threats and harassment.
The investigating garda said the injured party had been greatly affected by the assault and is attending counselling, is on anti-anxiety medication and is in fear of both leaving the house and being attacked by the accused.
The Defence barrister told the court his client - who had no previous convictions, had €2,000 in court to show her remorse and was assessed as being at low risk of reoffending.
The court was also told the defendant had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.
The Defence barrister said his client - who is expecting her first child, was at home when she spotted the victim and “made the irrational decision to approach and then sought out the unfortunate victim”.
When it was put to her by the Defence the investigating garda agreed that Kate Agnew had been under pressure and “cracked” and “acted in a way that was totally out of character”.
Judge Michael O’Shea said it was an unprovoked attack and the history between both parties did not justify Kate Agnew taking the law into her own hands.
He said the fact that she was suffering from anxiety or stress was irrelevant and her over reaction was “disproportionate and extreme” that she had decided to attack a defenceless person with a wheel brace.
He said the assault as viscious and brutal and the defendant had seen an opportunity to attack and exploited it.
Judge O’Shea also expressed the hope that the case would put to an end the history between both families.
He imposed a two and a half year sentence but suspended it on the accused entering a bond to be of good behaviour for three years and on her giving an undertaking to the court that she will not to go near, approach or speak to the victim.