Woman ordered to pay compensation for handbag assault

A man was left bleeding profusely from his mouth and with significant damage to his teeth after a young woman took offence and struck him hard with a handbag or shoe, the Galway District Court heard this week.

Lindsey Canavan (22 ) with an address at 122 Coill Tire, Doughiska, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy on Monday charged with assaulting Colm Folan causing him harm at Eyre Square on August 3, 2009.

The court heard that at 3.30am Mr Folan rushed to officers in a nearby Garda van to seek assistance and that he was clutching his mouth, which was bleeding, and claimed that he had been struck by either a bag or a shoe.

Referring to a medical report which was handed into court Judge Fahy noted that Mr Folan’s top front tooth had been half chipped, that another tooth had been pushed off, and that there was damage caused to other teeth.

Inspector Mick Coppinger said that the defendant admitted “slapping at” Mr Folan but cannot remember “what she struck him with”.

Defence solicitor Geroid Geraghty said that his client had been out with a friend who had once been in a relationship with Mr Folan and that “words were exchanged” among the three.

“She said she hit him once. Something had been said earlier on,” Mr Geraghty explained before adding that Canavan has no previous convictions. He then said that Canavan, who is now unemployed, has no possibility of coming up with significant compensation but she might be able to borrow €500. “That’s as much as she can get,” he said.

Mr Folan then told Judge Fahy that he had been in a relationship with Canavan’s friend, and that as a result of the incident two teeth had been damaged. The court then heard that Mr Folan would need to have an implant inserted, to the cost of €3,000, however Mr Folan added that some teeth will have to be capped and crowned and that a root canal will have to be done. “She damaged the roots in the other teeth,” he said.

“If you got €4,000 that would go a long way... I can’t let this lady walk away without paying this money,” said Judge Fahy.

Mr Geraghty replied that Canavan would need some time to come up with the money and that she may be able to get some family support in the matter.

“Would you like to pay your debt to society in another way?” Judge Fahy asked Canavan, before noting that the threat of further punishment seems to be the “only language people understand”.

“I want €1,000 to start with,” said Judge Fahy who then adjourned the matter to January 12, 2011.


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