Judge's 'horror' as he denies bail to woman accused of glass attack on Good Samaritan
A hotel employee walking to work in Londonderry was stabbed three times in the neck when he tried to break up a fight among three street drinkers, a court has heard.
The victim was treated in Altnagelvin Hospital for his injuries, which included three neck punctures and gashes to his face. He received eight stitches.
Before Londonderry Magistrates Court yesterday was Amy Tracey (31), from St Brecan's Park in the Waterside area of the city. She has admitted inflicting the injuries on the victim.
A police witness told District Judge Barney McElholm that officers were called to the area of Bridge Street and John Street on Saturday evening following reports of an ongoing incident.
They found the victim bleeding profusely from the neck. He told police that the woman who had stabbed him with a glass had run into a nearby block of flats.
He said he was walking to work when he saw a man on the ground being attacked by a woman and by another man. He intervened to help the man on the ground, but the woman and the second man turned on him.
The victim said he had been glassed on the side of the neck by the woman and that the man with her had punched him.
The officer said the victim was a completely innocent person who sustained his injuries after he had gone to the aid of a helpless man. She said when arrested the defendant accused the victim of running at and hitting her. The officer said the defendant also told the police that she had a glass in her hand at the time. She said the glass broke as she tried to push the victim away and that was how he had sustained his injuries.
The police witness said the victim was now afraid to walk through that part of the city. She opposed bail on the basis that she believed the defendant would reoffend and interfere with other witnesses.
Applying for bail, defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said the defendant was so drunk she could not be interviewed for 15 hours after her arrest.
He said she was known to be a victim of domestic violence and had started drinking heavily following the break-up of her relationship with her former partner. "She accepts responsibility for causing the injuries to a man who was effectively a Good Samaritan," he said.
"This was the action of a drunk woman whose perception is different to the reality. The Good Samaritan intervened to stop an assault involving street drinkers. It is clearly a serious incident involving a man carrying out his civic duty."
Refusing bail the District Judge said that while the defendant had accepted some of her culpability, she had also made scurrilous allegations against a Good Samaritan.
"She has made scurrilous and unfounded allegations against this injured party," Mr McElholm said. "To suggest this man, who has done what we encourage people to do in terms of their good civic duty, was attacking her is disgraceful.
"Anyone prepared to do that to another human being once could do it again.
"These wounds were very close to this man's throat and quite frankly it fills me with horror that any person could do that to another person.
"Bail is refused for fear of her doing it again and for fear of witness intimidation.
"It is also refused in the public interest in that people coming to the aid of other people should not expect to be treated like this. They expect the courts to uphold and protect their rights of carrying out their civic duty."
The defendant was remanded in custody until August 27 for a video link court appearance.