A Cork mother-of-two who went to stab an acquaintance with a 9-inch blade over something she thought the woman had said has walked free from court on a probation bond.
Serena O’Leary (44) punched Caroline Madden in the face after telling her she had “a bone to pick” with her, a court has heard.
O’Leary, of Edel House Residential Centre, Grattan Street, Cork, was given a 12-month probation bond at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today and will be sentenced in June 2020.
She pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Madden causing her harm at Cathedral View Walk, Dublin on August 20, 2016.
Detective Garda Conor O’Byrne told Dean Kelly BL, prosecuting, that the two women met at a mutual friend’s house the previous night and O’Leary told Ms Madden she had “a bone to pick” with her.
The following morning, Ms Madden opened her door to O'Leary, whom she later described as soaking wet, wearing the same clothes and smelling of alcohol.
O'Leary got angry, accused Ms Madden of saying something to her partner about her, and produced a nine-inch blade. Ms Madden managed to grab O'Leary's arm to stop her from stabbing her in the stomach.
O'Leary threatened her, saying: “You mess with me, I'm going to kill you.”
She punched Ms Madden in the face and resumed threatening her until the injured party's brother came down the stairs and ejected O'Leary from the premises.
O'Leary has nine previous convictions including minor public order and road traffic offences.
The prosecuting garda agreed with Bernard Condon SC, defending, that the injured party has since put the matter behind her. He further agreed that O'Leary had a poor experience in Dublin after moving to the city for a relationship and had encountered drug abuse and homelessness.
He agreed O'Leary now appeared to be doing well and was stabilising herself back in Cork.
In a victim impact report referred to in court, Ms Madden said she initially had trouble trusting people and was afraid to leave her home. Now she has more confidence and things are back to normal.
Mr Condon submitted to Judge Melanie Greally that his client had her house repossessed and ended up coming to Dublin while she was in a relationship.
He said that relationship was destructive, involved the use of heroin, cocaine and alcohol and led to her sleeping rough and becoming very unwell.
Counsel said his client had no ongoing problems and was working on sobriety.
Judge Greally noted that this incident coincided “at a low point of the accused's life on many fronts”. She said she had more options in sentencing because the knife had not inflicted any injuries.
She ordered an updated report from probation services and adjourned sentencing to June 10 next year.
O’Leary was ordered to comply with all directions from probation officers in relation to drug counselling, accommodation needs and training and employment services.