Model ‘scratched woman’s face in self-defence’

A 25-year-old glamour model is claiming she acted in self-defence when she allegedly scratched another woman’s face and bit her hand during a fight.

Dubliner Bridget Byrne, who works under the name of Ava Van Rose, will go on trial later this year, a judge ordered yesterday.

The mother-of-two, who also starred in the short-lived reality show Infectious, appeared at Dublin District Court where she faces a single charge of assault causing harm.

It is alleged that she attacked Helen Guinan at a house at Wheatfield Avenue in Clondalkin, Dublin, on October 20, 2013.

Defence solicitor Brian Keenan indicated that the case would be contested on the grounds that Ms Byrne was acting in self-defence.

The charge is under section three of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

Garda Gerard Clifford of Ronanstown station told the court that the DPP has directed “summary disposal”.

Judge Miriam Malone asked to hear an outline of the prosecution evidence to determine if the case should remain in the district court or instead be dealt with at the higher level — in the circuit court — which has tougher sentencing powers.

Garda Clifford said it was alleged that on October 20, 2013, the defendant entered a house at Wheatfield Avenue, the home of the complainant, and “assaulted her”.

He said Ms Guinan — who was not present for the pre- trial hearing — “received scratches to the face and a bite to the hand”.

Her wounds were super- ficial and were treated with creams, he said, adding that both women were known to each other.

Gardaí received a complaint two days later and they interviewed Ms Byrne who now has an address at An Luasan, Ballybrit, Co Galway.

The model stood silently as a summary of the allegations was given in court and Judge Malone accepted jurisdiction.

The defence solicitor confirmed that a hearing date was being sought meaning his client is pleading not guilty.

Mr Keenan said Ms Byrne “will say it was in self- defence”.

The judge heard that there are four witnesses — two for the prosecution and two for the defence — who will give evidence and be cross- examined. She ordered that the trial will take place in November.

The garda was also ordered to provide the defence with copies of statements and medical evidence.

A district court conviction for the assault could result in a fine and a possible sentence of up to one year.



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