A man was pepper-sprayed by a woman at Centra on Shandon Street and she has been convicted of assault causing harm in the case where she claimed in court that her 17-year-old son was dead a year around that time and that the man she sprayed had sold her son drugs.
Judge Colm Roberts advised the defendant, 41-year-old Stacey Condron of Templeacre Avenue, Cork, that she should attend bereavement counselling. She said she is thinking of it now. The judge said that maybe she was not ready to do such counselling before, but he suggested that she should start.
Judge Roberts sympathised with her for the loss of her son and said he did not doubt that she was in turmoil.
The judge imposed a four-month sentence which he suspended. He said such an assault with pepper spray was a serious matter. He imposed a concurrent three-month sentence on her for carrying the weapon – namely the pepper spray cannister. She admitted that but pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm.
Though pleading not guilty to the assault she effectively admitted the offence when she was in the witness box, albeit claiming self-defence. The judge said he was totally satisfied she was guilty of assault causing harm.
“Right now you are a very angry lady and you need to stop that. It is not good. You have to break the cycle of violence to have some chance of a life,” the judge said.
The injured party said he was in Centra on June 10 2020: “I was going about my daily day and I was attacked with a chemical into the face. I couldn’t see or breathe or anything. I was taken away by ambulance to CUH.”
Garda Michelle Conway said the orange substance sprayed in the face of the man who is aged around 40 was found on analysis to have the active ingredients of pepper spray.
Garda John O’Sullivan viewed the CCTV from the shop and identified Stacey Condron as the woman who sprayed it.
Other people were with Ms Condron at the time. One man in the shop kicked the injured party in the leg.
She said her windows had been broken in the previous night.
The defendant said, “I was after telling him to stop selling my son drugs. My son was dead a year (at that time). He was selling my son drugs and he was still looking for money off me.
“It was self-defence. Every time I walked down Shandon Street he was threatening me. He pointed and said, ‘I will get you’. I pepper-sprayed him.”
After her direct evidence to her solicitor, Michael Quinlan, Stacey Condron was cross-examined by Inspector Martin Canny who asked of the spraying into the man’s face, “Did it hurt him?” She replied, “I hope it did.” Judge Roberts said he was totally satisfied to convict her on the charge of assault causing harm.
The judge said that carrying out such acts of violence would only have the effect of dehumanising the person who carried them out and that the cycle of violence had to be broken.