Limavady woman who punched female at funeral ‘takes the complete biscuit’

Limavady Courthouse
Limavady Courthouse

A District Judge has told a Limavady woman who assaulted another woman at a funeral “this takes the complete biscuit”.

District Judge Liam McNally made the remark as he sentenced Rhona Clements at Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Clements, from Dromore Avenue in Limavady, assaulted the female on April 11, 2016. Clements was attending her uncle’s funeral.

The court was told the injured party was attending the funeral of her brother-in-law. While she was in the funeral home, “words were exchanged” between her and Clements.

The injured party said Clements became aggressive and lunged towards her.

Other mourners intervened and prevented the incident from escalating.

The court heard the minister in attendance had “words with all parties” regarding the incident.

Following the interment of the deceased, Clements asked the injured party and her husband if she could speak with them quietly.

They facilitated this but, “out of the blue”, Clements punched the woman to the face.

The injured party stumbled back. Clements reached for her hair and she fell to the ground. Damage was caused to some ornaments, the court heard.

Defence barrister, Alan Stewart, said it was “totally unsavoury”. He said the atmosphere was so bad the minister had to speak to all parties concerned. Mr. Stewart said “old wounds were re-opened at the funeral” and words were exchanged at the graveside which caused it to flare up.

He said “emotions boiled over,” but it was a “one-off incident.

District Judge, Liam McNally, told Clements he had dealt with a “large number of unusual cases during my time on the bench, including fights after weddings and fights after christenings.”

“This takes the complete biscuit; a fight at a funeral in the presence of a deceased person who people had gathered to pay their last respects to. It really is quite appalling.”

Judge McNally told Clements he would take into account her clear record and her guilty plea.

Clements was bound over for two years in the sum of £500. She was also ordered to pay £250 compensation to the injured party.