A woman who assaulted an 18-month-old baby after an attempt to hit the mother missed was bound to the peace for 18 months for assault and public order offences at Athy District Court on Tuesday, September 25 last.
Sinead Holton, with an address listed at the time of the incident as 33 Corran Ard, Kilkenny Road, Athy, came to the attention of gardai on November 29, 2016, at Cois Bhearu, after the injured party called the gardai.
The court heard that the defendant and the injured party had been in dispute with each other for some time before the incident.
On the day, the injured party, who had her 18-month-old daughter with her in a buggy, came up behind the defendant.
The injured party told the court she immediately stopped in her tracks and waited for the defendant to move on, as there was no room to go around, but Ms Holton told her to get off her "f**king heels".
The injured party told the court that Ms Holton approached her aggressively and swung at her, but missed and struck her 18-month-old on the side of the head. She said the child's head went from side to side with the force.
The baby became very distraught and could not be pacified for some time afterwards. "My baby was distraught - we went to the doctors. She stayed in that state all day," said the woman. The court heard that the baby had a red mark which later faded. The doctor checked the baby over and they returned home.
The defendant, who pleaded not guilty, said in court that the injured party had attacked her on the day. She showed photographs to the court of a red mark on her face. Ms Holton produced photographs of her alleged injury, but Judge Zaidan said he was having difficulty seeing any visible injuries from the photographs.
The defendant said the injured party pushed the buggy into her legs. “I felt a burning sensation at the back of my legs and someone strike me,” she said. “It all happened so quickly. “My children were with me at the time and they started screaming.”
The defendant then told the court that the injured party's dog started to ravage her children, so she picked up her toddler and ran, and the injured party then shouted abuse after her. She said that the injuries sustained were along her jaw bone and shoulder.
The court heard the defendant both rang and then went to the garda station a few hours later to report the assault, but later left with her children.
Judge Zaidan said the photographs were not reliable.
“The only person telling the truth is the victim, I've no doubt about it,” he said.
He noted that Ms Holton has since moved out of the estate and ordered her to have to no contact with the victim
He bound Ms Holton to the peace for 18 months and warned her that if gardai receive a further complaint and she is convicted of this, he will not be so sympathetic.
The defendant intends to make an appeal against her conviction.