A woman who kicked a toilet cubicle door in a Newry bar leaving another woman requiring four stitches has been fined £250.
The 22-year-old’s barrister, contesting the charge, stated that it was “at the very high end of common assault” and that it was “a case where no harm was intended”.
Chloe Madigan, of Upper Dromore Road in Warrenpoint, did not appear as she contested a single count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Newry Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecution outlined how on September 6, 2017, the injured party had attended a police station to report an allegation of assault.
She told officers that this had occurred on July 7 at O’Dowds bar in Newry. Shortly before 1am, she had been in a toilet cubicle when a female kicked open the door which struck her on the forehead.
The injured party said that this female was known to her as the defendant and that she required four stitches for the injury.
Police interviewed Madigan, during this she made a full admission but claimed she had not meant to hurt anyone and described it as a “drunken incident”.
Prosecution submitted photographs of the injuries along with medical notes, commenting: “Anything involving stitches is going to leave a scar.”
Defence barrister Kevin O’Hare stated: “There is no evidence that this has left a scar. We only received the photographs yesterday so I am only working off the medical report.
“It is my submission that this is at the very high end of common assault. It is clearly a case where no harm was intended, however, it is accepted that it was a stupid, foolish and reckless thing to do.”
He informed the court that the defendant had stayed with the injured party until her partner arrived and had apologised.
Outlining the incident, Mr O’Hare explained that Madigan had kicked the door believing her friend, who had been calling her, was inside.
He also commented on how this “foolish mistake made whilst young and drunk” would have further impact on both Madigan’s future travel plans and employment options.
District Judge Eamonn King stated: “This is an unfortunate situation, in which a young lady is facing a Section 47 assault against another young lady.
“Since then the defendant has gone on to become an undergraduate student at Queen’s University and the consequences of this could be severe.”
He continued: “The facts of the case are that the injured party was sitting in the toilet of a night club and the door was kicked in striking her on the forehead causing a laceration.
“I don’t know that it has left a scar but I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence to merit the charge which has been directed.”
The district judge added: “How many times have I said to young people that their actions have consequences and unfortunately people have to live with the consequences of their actions?”
Madigan was convicted of the charge before the court and was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15.