herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Women hid in ditch from duo's attack, trial told

TWO women who were allegedly attacked in a car park at a beauty spot ran from the location for half a mile and had to hide in a ditch because they believed the alleged attackers were searching for them in a car, a court has been told.

Under cross-examination, one of the women, Natasha Cluskey, agreed that the first act of violence was carried out by a man in her company who hit a foreign man over the head with a bottle of vodka.

She denied the foreign man was trying to help her up because she was so drunk she had fallen down.The court heard that during the day and night before the incident she had consumed nine pints, two or three vodkas and Red Bull, a shot of Sambuca and had taken a valium tablet.

On trial at Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court are Lukas Smalenas (21) of The Drive, Highlands, Drogheda, and Marius Baciulias (21), St Michael's Terrace, Clogherhead, Co Louth.

They deny committing violent disorder on the March 10, 2009, at Townley Hall Woods, Townley Hall, Drogheda, county Louth. Baciulias is also accused of causing damage to a car in the alleged incident.

The court heard that Natasha Cluskey and Christina Leslie along with Mark Kavanagh and Gareth 'Geno' Jein had driven to the woods after leaving a night-club in Drogheda.

Another car and a group of four to five foreign men were already there and two of the foreign men engaged in "friendly conversation" with the two men in Natasha Cluskey's company, the court was told by Mr Derek Kenneally, defending.

Ms Cluskey agreed with Mr Kenneally that Gareth Jein had been handed a bottle of vodka by one of the foreign men and was drinking from it.







Drunk

However, she denied that she was so drunk she was staggering around and had fallen on to the grass. She also denied that when one of the foreign men came over to help her up, she had screamed.

She did agree that then Mr Jein, who was holding a bottle of vodka, "came across and struck the foreign man".

The man he struck on the head fell to the ground. When he got up from the ground he ran into the woods, as did one of two other foreign men, the court heard. The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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