A middle-aged woman described being assaulted by a neighbour in Cork city and claimed that he called her a Limerick bitch and said that he would put a .22 bullet in her head.
Shirley Jackson testified that, at 2pm on September 8, 2022 a man in the neighbourhood, John Fitzgerald, was up on the balcony of his apartment.
“He was screaming at me. He threatened to slit my throat," she said. “As I was going in and out all day he was up on his balcony drinking.
“I called the guards and they said they hadn’t got the power to get him off his balcony as it was his own property. He was shouting abuse at other people saying they were from different countries walking into this country and getting houses.
“At half past two in the morning I could hear breaking glass. He was down by my gate at this stage.
“I opened my door to see what damage was done.
"He was picking up bits of broken glass and throwing them at me as I was standing at the front door.
“He grabbed me by my left arm. He tried to push me. I fell on to the ground. While I was on the ground, I tried to kick him so I could get myself back up.
“At this point he had a scarf over his mouth and a baseball cap. I tore the scarf off his face. I said, ‘I don’t know why you are trying to hide because I know it is you.’
“He was trying to swing for me. I pulled his coat down over his head and got him down on the ground because I did not want him hitting me. I think it was the shock of everything happening to me. He walked away.”
Defence solicitor, Daithí Ó Donnabháin, called the defendant to give evidence. John Fitzgerald of 30 Coppinger’s Acre, Churchfield, said: “My father is a Limerick man. I am very proud of Limerick.
The defendant, who is aged around 50, said he had serious health issues and said Ms Jackson called him insulting names.
As for making threats to her he said: “Bullsh**. Sorry, it is wrong. It’s a fabrication, whatever is wrong with the woman. I didn’t open my mouth to that girl. Nothing happened. I am there 13 years. I never had a problem with a neighbour. I didn’t go near that woman’s house.
"I called her a nutter. I told her to f*** off, I’ll be honest with you.”
Cross-examined by Inspector James Hallahan, he said Ms Jackson called him “a peeping Tom”.
“Did you have an encounter with her?” the inspector asked. John Fitzgerald replied: “I didn’t have no encounter with her.”
Judge Marian O’Leary dismissed charges against Fitzgerald of engaging in threatening behaviour and causing criminal damage. However, she said: “I accept Ms Jackson was assaulted. I find the defendant guilty of assault.”
Sentencing was adjourned until June 21 so that a victim impact statement can be prepared.