Assault case dismissed

A YOUNG father accused of assaulting his partner’s sister had his case dismissed at Kilkenny District Court.

A YOUNG father accused of assaulting his partner’s sister had his case dismissed at Kilkenny District Court.

Marcus Fallon, 47 Glenvale, Ballyragget had contested the allegation of assault at his home on May 29, 2011. The alleged injured party, Sarah Martin told the court that on the date in question she went to Kilkenny to visit her sister and nephew. “We had dinners and went for a few drinks. Marcus’ mother was there and his younger brother Leo and my sister Nicole and Marcus. Myself, Nicole, Marcus and his mother went to the local and then went back to their house where his younger brother was babysitting.

“It started off with Nicole and Marcus mess fighting. He got her and threw her and she bashed her head off the floor and a row broke out. Nicole picked up the baby and went to put him to bed and Marcus was pulling her back to get the baby. They continued rowing and I put the baby to bed and came down and talked to Marcus to settle things down. Nicole was upstairs with the baby and Marcus followed Nicole upstairs to pack some clothes. They were rowing in front of the baby and I said that it wasn’t right to be arguing in front of him.

“Marcus started abusing me and punched me in the face. I ended up getting my bags and went upstairs to tell Nicole that I was leaving and me and Marcus started fighting again. He grabbed me by the hair and pulled me into a different bedroom. Marcus had me by the hair and Leo was trying to stop him and we fell onto the bed and Leo started punching and kicking me in the head. Leo got him to let me go and I ran out of the house and down to his mother’s house and explained what happened and she went back to the house and the gardai showed up and brought me and Nicole and the baby to the station for the night. The next morning Nicole got the gardai to go up to the house to collect her stuff and the three of us went back to Dublin,” she said adding that on the night of the incident she had consumed two glasses of wine and three bottles of beer. Under cross examination Ms Martin admitted that her memory was not clear when she had given a statement to the gardai.

Garda Frances Dunphy told the court that as a result of a phone from Mary Fallon gardai had attended the house. “Initially we spoke to Mary Fallon who said that he was out with Nicole, Sarah and his mother and had arrived home a short time earlier. Leo Fallon had been minding the child. He informed me that himself and Nicole were playacting and that Nicole had hurt her head and that at that point things had got out of hand and that there was an issue between Marcus Fallon and Sarah Martin and that Marcus said that Sarah Martin began hitting him,” said the garda. Garda Dunphy added that Sarah Martin had told gardai that she had been kicked in the head.

“Marcus Fallon initially agreed to leave the house but arrived back with his brother and mother and started taking his things out. I wasn’t satisfied that he wouldn’t come back later in the night and I was unable to secure alternative accommodation so it was agreed that the two ladies would come to Castlecomer Garda Station for the night.” Garda Peter Shea described the atmosphere in the house as ‘volatile’. “There was no rationality in the whole situation,” he said.

Nicole told the court that she was messing around with her partner when she fell and sustained a carpet burn. “It was my own fault that it happened,” she said. “I decided to go to bed and Marcus and the baby came up with me. Sarah came up and wanted to go back out for another drink . I didn’t want to go back out and Marcus said ‘no she doesn’t want to go’ and Sarah said ‘let Nicole speak for herself’. She was shouting and Marcus told her to leave and she attacked his neck. She scraped him in the neck and kicked him in the genital area and Marcus walked out of the room. She started attacking him again and pushing at him and Leo was in between trying to remove her. They went back into the back bedroom and fell on the bed. They were lying on top of each other and they got Sarah out of the room and she got her bags and left. She came back five or ten minutes later and started to fight again,” she added stating she had two glasses of wine on the night in question.

Marcus Fallon, who had two pints of Budweiser denied the assault. “She came for me, swinging her arms and trying to attack me. Leo was holding me back and she kicked me in between the legs,” he said. He denied punching, kicking or pulling Sarah Martin’s hair.

Judge Patrick Clyne said that he could understand the reluctance of the Fallons and Nicole Martin to make a statement. “Gardai went to a mad house and a degree of sanity crept in the next day and one side decided to say nothing...I don’t believe one iota of what the complainant said... The prosecution is based on a statement riddled with holes and I am far more impressed with the other side,” he said before dismissing the case.