Woman gets suspended sentence for assault

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A single mother who assaulted two women outside a Ballymena pub claimed to police: “There was no punching, just a bit of hair-pulling between the three of us”.

Ashlyne Duffy (28), of Wellington Crescent, assaulted the two women on 1.20am on April 17 last year in the town.

At Ballymena Magistrates Court, District Judge Peter King imposed a three months prison term, suspended for a year, saying it was the defendant’s fourth public order offence and was part of an “escalating pattern”.

She was also ordered to pay compensation of £100 to each of the injured women.

A prosecutor said one of the injured women said she was grabbed by the hair and received cuts to her arms, elbows and legs.

The court heard there was a reference to an incident occurring “over a boyfriend”.

Another woman had bruises and said she was pushed to the ground.

Duffy told police: “I just ran at her. I was drunk, I was not thinking at the time”.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney said Duffy did not know the two women but there had been “some incident” involving her friend and the defendant got herself involved outside a pub.

He claimed a witness said there was a “degree of provocation” but said the defendant accepted she over-reacted.