File photo: Portlaoise Court
Two Monasterevin women have been bound to the peace for two years for their attack on a man and his partner in a local pub.
Before Portlaoise District Court was Stephanie Hurley (30), Water Mill Square, Monasterevin, and Tracy Hurley (36), Mill Stream, Monasterevin, charged with assault, on July 14, 2017, in Brennan’s Pub, Monasterevin.
State’s evidence outlined that Tracey Hurley scratched a man across the face and pulled a woman off a bar stool. Stephanie Hurley also scratched him across the face.
The court heard that there was a conflict within the family, with the man previously being married to Tracey’s mother and he is currently in a relationship with the woman who was assaulted.
The injured party, Ms Violet McEvoy gave evidence that she remembered the feeling of her clothes being taken off her and her breasts exposed.
“It brought back a lot of feelings I thought were dead and buried,” she said.
She said she was pulled to the ground suffering an injury to her left arm, where she still experiences numbness. She also suffered other injuries, including marks to her legs, stomach and face.
She told the court she didn’t sleep for 48 hours after the assault and has had to change jobs. She said that she didn’t go out to hurt anybody and the attack has had a big impact on her.
“I would like the jeering to stop,” she said, adding that the accused had been “sneering at me coming out of court”.
Ms McEvoy also said she didn’t want the accused to go to prison. She said she had to take time off work following the incident, but she told the court she had a very understanding boss.
Judge Catherine Staines asked her was it unavoidable that she would meet the accused around the town, to which Ms McEvoy replied it was.
Defence barrister for Tracey Hurley said the accused had never come before the court before and the incident had caused difficulties for her mental health.
The accused is raising three children on her own and has not attempted to enxcuse her behaviour on the night.
Defence said the accused was hoping to study childcare and was asking the court not to impose a convictions.
Defence for Stephanie Hurley, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client, who works as a civil servant, was also asking the court not to leave her with a conviction.
Ms Fitzpatrick said the accused did not have any compensation, but she will address this.
In ruling, Judge Staines said it was a very serious matter and she had to consider a prison sentence. She said she was also conscious of the very volatile family situation, but had to be satisfied that the injured party was entitled to live in peace.
The judge bound both accused to the peace for two years and told them they had to show courtesy to Ms McEvoy.
The judge also directed that €1,000 go to the injured party from the court poor box.