Woman is cleared of attacking love rival
A woman has been acquitted of attacking a love rival she found naked in bed with the father of her newborn baby.
Belfast Magistrates Court heard claims that Samantha Carey lashed out at Nandi Mbondiah and tried to choke her after walking in on the pair.
But a judge acquitted Ms Carey of a common assault charge amid counter-allegations that it was Ms Mbondiah who punched and kicked her.
Both women gave conflicting accounts of what happened at the home of the man they were in dispute over.
Ms Carey (24), of University Avenue, Belfast, said she had been at a party before going to the nearby address in the early hours of October 13 last year.
She walked into the bedroom and discovered the man – referred to only as Edward – in bed with Ms Mbondiah.
According to the alleged victim, Ms Carey then launched an angry attack on her as she tried to get dressed.
"At one time she held my throat and tried to choke me," Ms Mbondiah told the court.
"She was very vulgar. There was some racism and insulting (language)."
Describing the incident as "crazy", she claimed Edward told the defendant to leave and made clear they were no longer in a relationship.
"He may have been in the wrong in the sense that he moved on from this lady too quickly," she added.
Ms Carey vehemently denied calling Ms Mbondiah either a "black pig" or using any racial slur.
Questioned by defence barrister Richard McConkey, she also insisted Edward was still her boyfriend at the time.
Three weeks earlier she had given birth to his child, the court heard.
"I went round to the house to see what he was up to and when I walked into the room he was in bed with that female Nandi," Ms Carey said.
"She wasn't wearing her top half and she had her head on him.
"I turned the light on and said: 'Who's this, Edward?'
"She was grinning at me behind his back as if she knew who I was."
Ms Carey claimed the other woman then got dressed, pulled her to the floor and started punching and kicking her about the head.
Under cross-examination she denied striking out at Ms Mbondiah.
But accepting she had been "furious" at the bedroom scene that confronted her, she replied: "I think anyone would be a bit angry if you found your boyfriend like that after having a baby with him."
Dismissing the charge against her, District Judge Ken Nixon pointed out: "I have to apply the facts to the standard of beyond reasonable doubt."