herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Shopper punched in missing purse dispute

A SHOPPER was punched in the chest after she confronted a woman she thought had taken her purse from her handbag

Jennifer Ward (36) "lost her cool" after she was accused of theft, but claimed she pushed, not punched, the other woman.

Judge Anne Watkin ordered Ward to donate €500 to the victim and imposed a two-month suspended sentence.

The defendant, of Sundale Avenue, Tallaght, admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to assaulting Maeve McMahon at Aldo Shoes, Dundrum Town Centre, on December 23, 2013.

Ms McMahon said she had just walked into the shop when she felt someone nudge her right shoulder, where she had her handbag.

She looked in her bag and saw her purse was missing.

Ms McMahon said she asked Ward, who was standing nearby with two others, if she had taken her purse.

She said Ward was immediately aggressive towards her, calling her "a stupid b*tch" and saying she was going to kill her.

Ms McMahon said the purse was found on the ground behind where Ward and her friends were standing.

She said Ward was asked to leave the shop and she punched her in the chest with a closed fist.

She said the punch left a red mark, but she was uninjured.

In her evidence, Ward claimed she pushed Ms McMahon "in frustration" after she falsely accused her of stealing her purse. This was "something she wouldn't dream of doing", she said, though the court heard that Ward previously received the Probation Act for a theft matter.

Judge Watkin said she was satisfied Ward had punched, not pushed, the victim.

Defence solicitor Leonard Leader said Ward, a single mother of five, was sorry for what had happened.

Imposing a suspended sentence, Judge Watkin said Ward had punched the victim in the chest in a "very brazen way".

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