Birthday celebrations turned sour when a bit of pushing and shoving in a nightclub cloakroom queue led to a woman lashing out at a man and seriously injuring him in the eye with her costume jewellery ring, the Galway District Court heard this week.
The 22-year-old defendant appeared at Galway District Court on Monday where she offered €400 in compensation to the injured party, however, Judge Mary Fahy ordered her to pay a further €1,100 and has given her until November 22 to come up with the money.
Melissa Gibbons, with an address at 42 Cluain Ri, Galway, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at GPO nightclub on December 6, 2008. There was also a further charge of assault on another man at the same location and date.
Garda Hugh Rodgers told the court that at 2.45am at GPO nightclub there was a report of an assault on two males in the cloakroom area. Garda Rodgers said that the two men and the defendant had been in the queue for their coats when there was a bit of pushing and shoving. The defendant then lashed out at one of the men.
“She had costume jewellery on that caused injury to one of the men. She turned around and caught him with it,” said Garda Rodgers, who added that another man, a friend of the first injured party, received a number of scrapes when he held out his hand to try to stop Gibbons from making contact with the ring.
Garda Rodgers then explained that the injured party had been in court earlier but was unable to stay. A letter written by the injured party was then handed over to Judge Fahy.
Judge Fahy noted that the injured party is suffering from anxiety disorder as a result of the attack, is receiving treatment, and that he had to take up to two weeks off work. The court further heard that the wound had become infected as a result of being hit with the ring and that there is a permanent scar above the eye.
Defence solcitior Sarah O’Dowd said that her client, who has no previous convictions, had been out celebrating her 21st birthday and that she had started drinking a large amount of alcholol early on. She said that Gibbons, who had brought €400 into court, is on a low wage and is facing medical expences due to her pregnancy. When Judge Fahy enquired if there was anyone to help Gibbons, Ms O’Dowd said that the defendant’s partner was not able to help financially as he is an asylum seeker.
Judge Fahy said that the €400 will only be accepted as part payment. She gave Gibbons until November 22 to pay a further €1,100.