District Judge McElholm appalled at assault on mother in presence of 4-year-old child

Bishop Street courthouse.
Bishop Street courthouse.

District Judge Barney McElholm has said he cannot believe ‘how people casually carry out violence in front of children.’

His comments came in the case of Cherie Kelly (27) of St. Brecan’s Park, who admitted assaulting a mother and daughter on June 27. The court heard that the injured party said she was dropping her child off and was lifting the 4-year-old out of a car when Kelly hit her on the chin. She said she fell down as did her daughter. The injured party said she knew Kelly, who was the former partner of the woman’s current partner. The court was told the assault on the child was ‘a reckless assault’ rather than a direct assault. When Kelly was interviewed she said she had been collecting her son and claimed the other woman had been verbally abusive towards her.

She told police ‘I just ran at her’ and admitted hitting her with a bag, the court heard. Kelly also said ‘I felt really bad’.

Defence solicitor Ciaran Hampson said there had been ‘a build up’ prior to this incident and it was a matter his client deeply regretted and added she had ‘let herself down’.

Judge McElholm said that she had done this in front of two young children and described this as ‘just appalling’.

He asked: “What do you think children will learn from this?” He adjourned the case to November 15 for a pre-sentence report.