Mum 'doing lines of coke in front of tot' led to row
BLOOD: Ex said elbow to face was an accident, court told
A MAN who claimed he accidentally elbowed his ex-girlfriend in the face after they rowed about her doing lines of cocaine in front of their baby daughter has been cleared of assault.
Alan Downes (26) claimed his ex-girlfriend Zara Kelly repeatedly punched him on the head as he left her apartment following the row, and he swung back to protect himself and hit her with his elbow on the nose.
Ms Kelly denied taking cocaine and claimed Mr Downes smacked her in the face with his fist after a male friend rang her mobile phone.
She said she landed on the floor due to the force of the punch, and Mr Downes then started kicking her.
Ms Kelly alleged Mr Downes smashed her nose and left her with two black eyes following the assault.
Gardai said there was blood splattered all over the sitting-room floor when they arrived at the apartment at Kilgobbin Wood in Sandyford.
The judge dismissed the charge, saying it was clear Ms Kelly had an injury, but it could have been as a result of an accidental elbow in the face.
Mr Downes, of Drinaghmore Avenue in Leopardstown, had denied seriously assaulting his ex-girlfriend Ms Kelly during a row on September 11, 2009.
Ms Kelly claimed Mr Downes came over to her apartment to give their daughter a TV, and he stayed and had a few drinks with her and another couple, and also went to the off-licence to buy more alcohol.
She claimed that when her mobile phone rang, Mr Downes tried to grab it out of her hand, and then punched her in the face.
Ms Kelly claimed that the punch "put my nose to the other side of my face", and Mr Downes ran away when he saw all the blood.
She said she suffered a deviated septum, and was kept in hospital overnight.
In his evidence, Mr Downes claimed that when he returned from the off-licence Ms Kelly and another woman were doing lines of cocaine on the coffee table.
He said this angered him, as it happened in front of his daughter, and a row broke out between him and Ms Kelly.
He called her a number of names, and as he was leaving the apartment she belted him four or five times on the head, he said.
Mr Downes claimed that he swung his arm back to protect himself and accidentally hit her with his elbow.