Two years for heroin-addicted mother who attacked woman with syringe in 'joke'

A heroin-addicted mother of six who terrified a woman with a syringe during a "prank" in a Temple Bar pub toilet has been jailed for two years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

A heroin-addicted mother of six who terrified a woman with a syringe during a "prank" in a Temple Bar pub toilet has been jailed for two years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Mary Kelly (aged 38) trapped the woman in a toilet cubicle and made stabbing motions towards her with a syringe before laughing and telling her it was a "joke".

Kelly, with an address at Newtown Avenue, Blackrock, pleaded guilty to producing a syringe in Templebar on October 10, 2006.

Garda John Sharkey told Mr Maurice Coffey BL, prosecuting, that when the victim went to the ladies toilet in the pub she saw Kelly hunched over and rummaging in a carrier bag. Kelly looked around and the victim apologised for disturbing her.

The woman went into a cubicle and when she came out Kelly charged her, forcing her back inside the cubicle. She put her arm out and tried to keep Kelly at a distance. She then saw Kelly had a syringe in her hand.

The woman froze and described Kelly making stabbing motions towards her. She said Kelly made no demands for money but she nevertheless told Kelly she had no cash.

Kelly backed off and went to the sink. She laughed and told the woman: "I am only joking." The woman made her way out and alerted a staff member who called the gardaí.

Kelly, who has eight previous convictions, was arrested and told gardaí it was a prank and she had never intended to stab the woman.

Defence counsel, Ms Gerardine Small BL, said Kelly could not explain why she had behaved in this way and wished to apologise to the woman. She said Kelly had instructed her that there was a cap on the syringe during the incident and Gda Sharkey confirmed the cap was on when the syringe was recovered .

Ms Small told Judge Katherine Delahunt that Kelly had married young to a violent spouse and her six children were in foster care.

She said Kelly had abused alcohol for a long time but had only become addicted to heroin four years ago after meeting a new partner. She had been leading a chaotic lifestyle as a drug addict since then but has recently been taking steps towards rehabilitation.

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