She came at me like a Tasmanian Devil, hammer attack accused tells Crown Court
A Belfast woman currently standing trial for attacking another woman with a hammer has told a jury that she used the weapon in self-defence during a "frenzied attack" by a "crazy girl" who came at her "like a Tasmanian Devil".
Samantha Goldring - originally from Essex but now living at Tynan Drive in Newtownabbey - has admitted striking the other woman with the hammer, but claimed she only did so to stop an assault on her.
The 37-year old denies three offences including causing the other woman grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing an offensive weapon with intent.
The charges follow an incident in the Woodvale area of Belfast last April, when a local woman lost the sight in her left eye after she was hit in the face several times with a hammer.
The injured woman told the court she went to Goldring's then home at Enfield Drive at around 5pm on April 8 last year looking for her boyfriend. She said she asked Goldring if her partner was there but Goldring said no and closed the door.
The injured woman said she left, but returned to the same house around 10pm. She said that after smashing Goldring's window, Goldring "came flying out like a psycho" and struck her several times with a hammer.
As the trial entered its second day at Belfast Crown Court, Goldring gave her version of events.
Telling the jury that going out onto the street when her window was smashed was "the worst decision I ever made", Goldring repeated what she told police after her arrest - that she struck the other women with the hammer in self-defence to stop an attack on her.
Flatly denying she and the male at her home were romantically involved, Goldring said that on the day in question she finished work at 3pm, went home and had a shower. When the man called, they had a few drinks and lines of cocaine together.
Asked about the first incident at 5pm, Goldring told the jury she didn't know the woman at her door.
Saying she was alerted to "aggressive thumping" on her front door and window, Goldring said at this point the man "started to get fidgety and panicky".
She told the court: "He said, 'I'm going to go upstairs and hide. If it's someone for me, tell them I'm not here'.
"He told me it could be someone looking for money."
Goldring said when she opened the door, she saw a women she didn't know who asked for the man.
From the witness box, she told the jury: "I said, 'He isn't here, I'm sorry honey'.
"Then she turned psycho and was trying to get in to my house."
Goldring said the other woman tried to push the door open and gain entry, that "it was like a rhinoceros pushing the door", and that when the other woman left, her male friend said he didn't know the caller.
Questioned about the second incident later that evening, Goldring said the male left to get more cocaine, and that while he was away she noticed the skirting in her hallway was "slightly off".
Deciding to "pop it back in", Goldring said she got a hammer and was "just tapping it back in" when the man returned.
She said: "He rapped the door, then he squeezed past me in the hallway. I went back down to finish off what I was doing, then something smashed through the living room window.
"I noticed glass all over the settee and glass over my dog. I didn't know what it was. Human reaction is to open the door and have a look, but that was the worst decision I ever made."
Whilst the woman who lost an eye in the incident claimed Goldring came at her with a hammer, Goldring said it was she who was attacked first.
Goldring said she walked into the street, saw the same woman who had been at her door earlier and shouted down the street: "Did you just smash my f****** window? What's your problem? Why are you doing this to me?"
She also claimed that as she walked towards her, the other woman came at her "like a Tasmanian Devil ... she wasn't normal."
Goldring claimed she was hit on the head with a white object, was punched around the head, was bitten on the hand and arm and was scrabbed on the face.
Telling the court she was subjected to a "frenzied attack", Goldring said: "She carried on beating me. My fingers ended up in her mouth and she bit down on them and she wouldn't let go. She was trying to bite my fingers off so I hit her with the hammer."
Goldring admitted striking several blows, and said the incident came to an end when the man came out of her house and split them apart. Goldring was arrested that night, and whilst in custody she was taken to hospital for medical treatment, which included a tetanus shot.
The jury heard that during police interviews, Goldring apologised, told police it was never her intention to harm anyone and said: "I wish I hadn't done that to her. I wish I could swap places with her. I'm sorry."