Tipperary man accused of assaulting stepdaughter

John Joe Patterson is to contest the assault charge.

A Tipperary man is to contest an allegation that he assaulted his stepdaughter inside Thurles courthouse.

John Joe Patterson, aged 55, with an address in Kilclooney, Moyne, Templetuohy, Thurles, appeared before Thurles District Court for trial, yesterday, on foot of a Garda summons.

Mr Patterson is accused of assault, contrary to Section Two of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997, on his stepdaughter, Emma Witherow, aged 28, and a mother of two.

A person found guilty of common assault faces jail of up to six months or a fine of €1,500, or both.

Mr Patterson is alleged to have assaulted Ms Witherow in the foyer of Thurles District Court, on March 3, 2013.

The matter was listed for trial this afternoon, however the court heard Ms Witherow was not present as she could not organise a childminder for her two children.

Defence solicitor JJ Fitzgerald, who sought to have the case marked “peremptory against the State”, said the complainant was aware the case was listed for hearing and “she should be in court”.

The court heard the assault charge was reintroduced after it was previously struck out on February 18, 2014, when statements were not supplied to the defence.

“The complainant is determined to continue with the case,” Detective Garda Trevor Moore told the court.

Judge Elizabeth MacGrath did not mark the matter peremptory against the State.

“I always allow at least one adjournment on either side,” she said, adjourning the matter until April 19, and warned the State, the case “will have to go ahead on that date”.


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