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Castlewellan woman slashed in row over window blinds needs plastic surgery, court told

By Alan Erwin

A woman allegedly attacked with bottles by her former partner and her new lover in a row over window blinds requires plastic surgery, the High Court heard yesterday.

The victim sustained deep and disfiguring neck and face wounds after being targeted by the other two women at her home in Co Down, prosecutors claimed.

The two accused are set to be allowed to live together on bail.

Lawyers for Michelle Quinn (44) of Woodvale in Castlewellan, argued that she should be able to enjoy a proper romantic relationship with her co-defendant. Both women are charged with grievous bodily harm with intent, aggravated burglary, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon.

Crown lawyer Fiona O'Kane claimed they "launched" themselves at Quinn's former partner after arriving at her house in Leitrim, a townland in Co Down, last October.

The victim was struck on the face with a broken beer bottle, inflicting a deep wound above the eye that needed 10 stitches. Glass was also thrust into her neck, causing serious cuts that required a further 15 stitches, the court heard.

"She will require ongoing plastic surgery as a result of disfiguring scars," Mrs O'Kane said.

The woman was allegedly chased outside before a vodka bottle which was allegedly taken from her house by Quinn's co-defendant was smashed on a wall and used in a further bid to attack her.

"When police arrived the two accused were in the back garden of the injured party's house, still trying to get in and their clothes were bloodstained," the prosecutor said.

The pair, suspected of being under the influence of drink or stimulants, allegedly kicked out and smashed a back door panel as they were restrained. Both accused are already on bail, but with contact limited to seeing each other at the offices of a counselling service.

Seeking to vary those conditions so the couple can stay together, counsel for Quinn claimed it had not been a one-sided violent attack.

Conor O'Kane told the court his client went to the alleged victim's home after their acrimonious break-up.

"It was a stupid thing to do... she went round because she saw blinds in her window that were meant to be in (Quinn's) house," he said. "Our case is that a verbal altercation takes place and the injured party assaults us."

He argued that under the current bail conditions the two accused cannot text or phone each other. It was indicated that the prosecution would not oppose Quinn being allowed to live under conditions at her co-accused's home in Downpatrick.

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