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Friends assaulted 'total stranger' in drink-fuelled row

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Ciara Prentice

Ciara Prentice

Ciara Prentice

Two pub-goers assaulted a woman who was a "total stranger" to them in a drink-fuelled attack after they mistakenly thought the victim had stolen a handbag.

Friends Ciara Prentice (20) and Kerrie Walsh (19) both admitted their part in the pub assault in which the young woman was struck and had her hair pulled.

Judge Patricia McNamara put them on probation bonds for a year at Tallaght District Court.

Prentice, of Rossfield Drive, and Walsh, of Drumcairn Green, both Tallaght, pleaded guilty to assaulting the victim.

The court heard the incident happened at the Metro Bar in Tallaght on October 14, 2018.

Prentice had been at the pub and had the mistaken impression that the victim stole her friend's handbag when she assaulted her, the court heard.

The victim suffered a small amount of bruising and her hair was pulled.

Remorseful

All parties involved in the incident were highly-intoxicated, although this was "not to take away from" Prentice's actions, her lawyer said.

"My client believed erroneously that her friend's handbag was stolen," he said. There was a confrontation and it became physical.

There was no lasting damage to the victim, and Prentice was "highly remorseful".

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Kerrie Walsh

Kerrie Walsh

Kerrie Walsh

Judge McNamara asked if the accused had known the victim and was told they were "total strangers".

"It was a one-off stupid incident caused by high intoxication," the lawyer said.

Walsh had the same mistaken belief that the handbag was stolen, her lawyer said. She was 18 at the time, but "old enough to know what she was doing".

It was an "unfortunate confrontation", and there had been no pre-meditation, he said.

The accused were both mothers of young children, had no previous convictions and had not come to the attention of gardai since.

Judge McNamara said there would be no recorded convictions if they kept to conditions of their bonds.

The accused are to each pay €150 to the victim and refrain from abusing alcohol.