Garda saw woman slam victim’s head on ground

A Chinese woman was seen by a garda chasing a fellow national down Cornmarket St in Cork City and then head on the ground.

Xia Lin, aged 34, of 1 Cathedral St, Shandon, appeared at Cork District Court yesterday where she pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to 30-year-old Lin Chaun Jacky Lai.

Judge John King asked if the accused had any compensation to offer the injured party.

Lin, through solicitor Shane Collins-Daly, said that her resources are limited, that she has four children, and receives just over €200 per week in social welfare.

The victim, who was present in court, expressed a different view of Lin’s resources.

“She is full of money,” she said via an interpreter.

Judge King said: “If she wants to avoid a custodial sentence, she will need to put her best foot forward.”

Garda Joseph Pigott was on duty coming up to 7pm on October 1, 2016, at Bridewell Garda Station when he saw an incident on Cornmarket St.

“I observed a female chasing another female on the street. I made my way out of the station,” he said.

“When I arrived I found Ms Lin slamming the injured party’s head on the ground. She held on to the injured party’s hair and scratched her face.

“The injured party showed me her front teeth were loose. Her injuries were very apparent and blood was coming from her right cheek.

“I arrested Ms Lin and conveyed her to the Bridewell Garda Station. She made full admissions to us.”

Inspector Gary McPolin said Lin had no previous convictions.

Mr Collins-Daly said the assault arose out of an ongoing dispute between the parties — Ms Lai had asked Lin to mind furniture for her and then asked for it to be returned.

Mr Collins-Daly said there was also tension between them as a result of working for different businesses in the supply of Chinese food products in this area of Cork. The defendant later clarified that she only visited the shop and did not work there.

Mr Collins-Daly said: “There would have been a degree of provocation. I don’t want to be seen to be criticising the injured party too much, but if it went to hearing there would have been a lot of things in dispute.

“Garda Pigott was in the right place at the right time. Things were said on both sides. It escalated when the injured party began to video what was happening and the defendant sought to take the video from the injured party.

“Whether my client was provoked at first each gave as good as they got. Whatever happened at first, she [the defendant] certainly went over the top. She is pleading guilty.

“We would say it was entirely a once-off incident.”

Ms Lai said she was left with a mark on her right cheek. “If I see her I am scared,” she said.

Sentencing was adjourned to February 15.

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