herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Woman had clumps of hair pulled out in 'vicious' pub attack

courts

A baby has been found abandoned in West Dublin
A baby has been found abandoned in West Dublin

A DUBLIN woman has been found guilty of tearing clumps of hair from a shop worker's head during a vicious attack at a pub two years ago.

Aoife Smith (31), of Sarto Park, Bayside, denied assault causing harm to Emma Dixon but was found guilty by Judge Michael Coghlan at Dublin District Court.

Ms Dixon told the trial she was left bleeding with clumps of hair falling out after the incident at the Bayside Inn on the afternoon of June 15, 2013. She also said she had massive bald patches and her hair still hasn't fully regrown.

The court heard Aoife Smith had been outside the pub with a friend drinking and started to verbally abuse Emma Dixon when she arrived at the pub with her boyfriend and their dog.

The court was told Smith blamed Ms Dixon for being barred from a shop in which she worked.

It took the efforts of two men to release her grip on Ms Dixon's hair which allegedly got wrapped around Smith's fingers, the court was told.

Judge Coghlan described the incident as "nothing short of a vicious assault on the victim" and he said CCTV evidence showed Smith "prowling outside the front of the bar in an aggressive manner".

Sentencing was adjourned until July when a probation report will be furnished to the court.

Ms Dixon told the court she had tried to ignore Smith's taunting and she went into the pub. She said Smith entered and told "you got me barred from that bleedin' shop".

She said Smith grabbed her by the back of her head and pulled her down. Her boyfriend tried to stop Smith but he tripped over a dog lead.

"She had me on the ground and would not let got, [she] kept pulling my hair," Ms Dixon said.

She told Judge Coghlan her boyfriend and bar manager Paul Lynch, who both gave evidence for the prosecution, eventually "unclenched her fingers, it took them a few seconds to do that".

She told the court Smith had "twisted her fingers" around her hair. She was in shock, had cuts to her head and "clumps of hair came out".

Smith told the court she thought Ms Dixon and her boyfriend had been laughing at her when they came out of the pub for a cigarette. She denied being the aggressor and claimed she was attacked first.

She claimed she slipped and Ms Dixon fell on her and her hair had been grabbed too.

However, Judge Coghlan said he was "dissatisfied" with her evidence and found her guilty.

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