herald

Saturday 25 January 2020

Man 'beat up sister after kicking cat in rage', court is told

Colm Dunne allegedly became ‘extremely aggressive’
Colm Dunne allegedly became ‘extremely aggressive’

A young man beat up his sister after kicking the family cat across the living room in a rage, it has been alleged.

Colm Dunne (24) is accused of punching his older sister repeatedly around the head and face after kicking the pet when he became "extremely aggressive" in their home.

The case against him was adjourned when he appeared before Blanchardstown District Court yesterday.

Mr Dunne, of Whitethorn Way, Palmerstown, was charged with one count of assault causing harm to his sister at their home address.

He is not charged with any offences in relation to the cat.

The attack is alleged to have happened last July 5.

Injuries

Sgt Maria Callaghan said the DPP had directed summary disposal of the case at district court level, subject to the judge considering the issue of jurisdiction.

There was no medical report before the court, but photos of the alleged victim's injuries were submitted by the prosecution.

Judge David McHugh viewed them, saying "a picture paints a thousand words sometimes".

He asked to hear a summary of the proposed evidence so he could consider whether or not to accept jurisdiction of the case.

Outlining the allegations, Sgt Callaghan told the court that gardai were called to White- thorn Way on July 5.

The sister alleged she had been assaulted by her brother, saying he had become extremely aggressive and abusive to her and their mother.

"In a rage, he kicked the cat across the sitting room before striking his sister three times, to the side of the face and head," Sgt Callaghan alleged.

The sister said she had then picked up her phone to call gardai, but her brother prevented her from doing so, holding her by the collar of her top and striking her to the side of the face again.

The court heard the injuries allegedly sustained were "soft tissue".

Judge McHugh accepted jurisdiction of the case after hearing the summary of the alleged facts.

This means it can be dealt with in the district court instead of being sent forward to the circuit court, which has greater potential sentencing powers on conviction.

The judge adjourned the case to a date next month for Mr Dunne to decide how he intends to plead to the charge.

He has not yet indicated to the court how he intends to plead and was not required to address yesterday's hearing.

The accused was remanded on continuing bail.

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