Woman knocked off chair and kicked because of curtain alteration, court hears

A young mother with a history of assaults was sentenced to five months in jail for assaulting a woman when she was not satisfied with alterations made to her curtains.

Teresa Rigney, who has lodged an appeal, could face further jail time if a suspended sentence for an assault in September 2007 is re-activated. The 23-year-old with an address at 105 Castlepark, Galway, denied the charge of assaulting Linda Smith on March 4 2008.

Ms Smith gave evidence that she had made alterations to the curtains and had been hanging them at Rigney’s house when she and a friend began picking faults. “I said if she wasn’t happy I’d take the curtains down and she said ‘get out of my f**king house’. She pulled me down off the chair and I fell on a coffee table. She started kicking me, calling me an English whore, and then my back clicked. I couldn’t move. Her [Rigney’s] friend kept telling her to stop,” said Ms Smith who added that she was thrown out of the house and never paid the €240 owed for her work.

Defence solicitor Valerie Corcoran put it to Ms Smith that she had been a paid a €100 deposit but that she had not done what was requested and had got irritated when Rigney expressed an opinion.

When the defendant took the stand she told the court that Ms Smith got back onto a chair where there was an orange cushion and fell back on the table. “I didn’t pull her down and kick her,” she added.

Inspector Pat McHugh put it to the defendant that her evidence was a “fabrication”. He then told the court that the defendant had 15 previous convictions which included assault, assault causing harm, and threatening and abusive behaviour, in September 2007 for which she received a five month sentence suspended for two years. There was also another conviction for assault in April 2003.

“She tried to make a liar of this lady [Ms Smith] by blackening her name. How dare she,” replied Judge Fahy who imposed a five month jail sentence. Judge Fahy also made an order under Section 99 to have the suspended sentence re-entered on next Monday February 9. An appeal was later lodged.

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