A woman whose ‘bright and rosy’ future came crashing down when she became an alcoholic and spat at her neighbours during a drunken episode, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.
She was 37-year-old Kerry Francis Malone, Kenlis Place, Banbridge.
Malone admitted attempted criminal damage to a window, criminal damage to a dog bowl and gate, two assaults on police officer, disorderly behaviour and unlawful assault on a female on September 11 this year.
The court heard that at approximately 9.15pm police were called to a disturbance at Kenlis Place in Banbridge.
They were informed by a member of the public that Malone, who was drunk, was on her balcony shouting for their dogs to shut up. She then began squirting bleach in the direction of the dogs.
She shouted ‘fat b—d’ and used obscene language towards the witness. She spat four times over her balcony hitting the woman on her arm and T-shirt.
The dogs were taken into the living room of the house and Malone knocked at the front door, banged the letterbox and hit the window.
She then went round to try and open the back door and broke a dog bowl before trying to break a window by using a yard brush and a garden hose. The whole episode lasted 30 to 40 minutes.
When police attended Malone, who was extremely intoxicated, she let them in and then told them to ‘f—k off’ out of her house.
When arrested she began to lash out at police and sunk her teeth into a knuckle of one of the officers. She kicked another officer on the thigh.
The injured party attended at Banbridge police station and provided a video recording of the incident at the rear window of the house.
Malone said she had taken half a litre of vodka with prescription medication which sent her mad.
A barrister representing the defendant said she would offer an unequivocal apology to the court for her behaviour.
He explained that the defendant had developed an alcohol problem but with help from AA and Sister Concilio’s she had stayed out of trouble for three years and engaged in charity work.
The lawyer said a family matter made her take to the drink on this occasion but she was now back on the wagon. “She was entirely embarrassed and would offer full apologies to the court,” he commented.
District Judge Eamonn King said he had been dealing with the defendant over a number of years. He described her as someone who had shown ability, talent and potential and had opportunities at university and in employment and personal relationships.
It was all going right and the future looked bright and rosy but unfortunately it all came crashing down, he added.
The judge said the defendant was one of those individuals who could not ‘deal or cope’ with alcohol. Her addiction caused her to come to the attention of the police. “If she hadn’t this addiction she would not be troubling the court and otherwise would be a valuable and productive member of society,” he commented.
Judge King said she faced a daily battle with alcohol but she was ‘one of my star pupils’ who ‘graduated’ out of Sister Concilio’s and back into society sober.
He added that she was in court sober with her support worker and faced a daily and lifetime battle but there was light at the end of the tunnel.
The judge described what had happened as ‘an unpleasant incident’ in respect of the neighbours and while he would deal with the matters by way of nominal fines it did not diminish from the unpleasantness of the situation.
For each of the six charges he imposed a fine of £50 and ordered Malone to pay a £15 offender’s levy.