herald

Monday 26 September 2016

Teen who broke love rival's nose is told to pay €300

Rebecca Rafferty must apologise and pay €300 to charity
Rebecca Rafferty must apologise and pay €300 to charity

A teenager who broke her ex's new girlfriend's nose with a headbutt has been told she can avoid a criminal record if she carries out voluntary work in the community.

Rebecca Rafferty (19) had "underestimated her own strength" when she hit the girl in a row outside a nightclub.

Judge David McHugh said he would strike out an assault charge if the accused takes part in a restorative justice programme, carried out 20 hours of voluntary work and pays €300 to charity.

She must also write a letter of apology to the victim.

Rafferty, of Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin, had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the victim.

Blanchardstown District Court heard the incident happened at Arc Bar, Liffey Valley on April 5, 2015, when the accused was 18.

Rafferty had been socialising when there was a confrontation between her and her ex-boyfriend outside.

The victim became involved and Rafferty headbutted her to the face.

Claim

Judge McHugh initially said he needed more information on what happened, as the victim's version of events contradicted Rafferty's claim that she had been felt intimidated and was in "defensive mode".

However, when the case came back before him, he was told the victim was sitting her Leaving Certificate and the prosecution did not want to cause her any more stress by interrupting her.

"It might make her more stressed at an already stressful time," defence barrister Jennifer Jackson agreed.

Judge McHugh said he had been the one who had asked the "hard questions" and made an issue of the disputed evidence "for the sake of justice".

Having reflected on it, however, he said he was satisfied "the defendant acted in the heat of the moment".

He noted that although the injured party was not present in court, there was a victim impact report.

Rafferty was somebody who had a "bright future", Ms Jackson said.

She was working for a fashion outlet where she was being trained to be a merchandiser.

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