A 28-year-old woman who assaulted a solicitor in the precincts of the courthouse has avoided prison because she has a young child.
District Judge Barney McElholm told Corrina Murray it is ‘completely unacceptable to attack someone in the courthouse. Courts are here to resolve disputes between people. The entire system and community will descend into anarchy if this sort of thing is allowed to go on’.
Murray, of Glenabbey Heights, pleaded guilty to assaulting her ex-partner and his new girlfriend.
She also admitted assaulting a female solicitor on December 4, last year.
Derry Magistrates Court heard Murray went to the courthouse with her young child. She approached her ex-partner, and father of the child, in the waiting area of the courthouse.
She punched his new girlfriend on the face and pulled her hair.
Her ex-partner tried to push her away and she lunged forward and punched him.
A female solicitor came towards the former couple and attempted to intervene.
She was struck in the stomach by Murray and had to attend hospital for an x-ray.
During police interview, Murray admitted she went to court to speak to her ex-partner and got angry when she realised his new girlfriend was there.
She accepted she assaulted them but denied assaulting the solicitor.
Defence solicitor Kevin Casey said his client accepts her behaviour was ‘completely unacceptable and inappropriate’.
He told the court Murray is ‘deeply remorseful and wishes to apologise to the court and everyone concerned’.
Suspending a three month sentence for two years, District Judge McElholm said if it was not for Murray’s personal circumstances and young child ‘I would send her to prison’.
He said she had breached the ‘sanctuary of the courthouse’ and the fact she behaved in this way in front of her child was ‘quite disgraceful’.
The judge also ordered the 28-year-old to pay £500 compensation to Victim Support.