Woman who started fight blamed ‘sarcastic remark’

FH PIC 2 - courtroom 2
A COUPLE have been convicted of assaulting two men during a late night street fight in Enniskillen. 
Enniskillen Magistrates Court heard that police responded to a report of a man and a woman having assaulted two men at The Diamond at 1.25am on September 5th last. 
When officers arrived at the scene, witnesses informed them that Dean Cashel and Sinead McGovern had assaulted two males near the Muck Truck food outlet which sits outside B and M Bargains in the town centre after hours. 
One of the men had sustained cuts above and below his left eye and swelling to the face. 
Outlining the case against the defendants, a Public Prosecution Service (PPS) representative told the court that CCTV footage showed the two injured parties at the fast food outlet. 
Cashel walked past them with McGovern following behind who had an exchange with the two victims. She then confronted them and one of the men was seen putting his hands up in the air before McGovern pushed him and slapped the other man in the face. 
The injured party then made off after her at which point Cashel was then shown throwing punches and knocking one of the men to the ground before walking away. The court heard that McGovern had been upset as one of the men had made a comment to her that was misunderstood. 
Cashel (36) of Woodview in Enniskillen was charged with assaulting the man causing him actual bodily harm and disorderly behaviour while 30-year-old McGovern of the same address, faced two counts of common assault and disorderly behaviour. 
Both defendants pleaded guilty to the charges. 
At Monday’s sentencing hearing, defence barrister Stefan Rafferty said his two clients should be afforded significant credit. Referring to McGovern, Mr Rafferty said, “Her actions were excessive and out of hand and she knows that she ought not to have acted as she did on the night in question. Central to that night was what was said to her, a smart and sarcastic remark from someone she didn’t know. She wished now that she had walked on past and not struck out.”
Mr Rafferty added that Mr Cashel then became involved and a fight did ensue. 
“He came to Ms McGovern’s defence and knows that he should have simply taken her aside and walked away. To say that they are both regretful and remorseful would be an understatement,” he added. 
District Judge Nigel Broderick told McGovern: “You shouldn’t be here as you appear to be a lady of good character and with a clear record but alcohol clouded your judgement on this occasion.”
McGovern was fined a total of £300 – £100 on each common assault charge and a further £100 for disorderly behaviour. 
Sentencing Cashel, the judge told him: “You are a man of otherwise good character, in employment and shouldn’t be standing before this court. Whatever may or may not have happened that night there was no justification for taking the law into your own hands.” 
On the assault causing actual bodily harm charge, Judge Broderick ordered that Cashel undertake 120 hours of community service and pay £500 in compensation to his victim. Cashel was fined a further £100 for disorderly behaviour. 

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