25 Jun 2022

Longford mum does u-turn on paying victim

Longford mum does u-turn on paying victim

A mother of five has paid €700 to a woman she dragged back by the hair in Longford town last year, just two weeks after vowing to do time instead of paying compensation to her victim.

Claire Hishon (31), 5 O’Connor Park, Longford had told a sitting of Longford District Court on April 27 last that she would rather serve a spell behind bars than hand over any money to Gemma Kirwan who she assaulted along the county town’s Main Street last year.

The incident, which took place on November 18 2020, left Ms Kirwan with an injury to her thumb and pain to her lower back.

The court heard the row had revolved around a €150 debt Ms Hishon claimed she was still owed by Ms Kirwan.

The latter disputed those claims, indicating she had borrowed €500 from Ms Hishon’s partner and had paid back €700 “and something” in return.

“I am not giving any more money to her,” she told Judge Seamus Hughes at the time.

Judge Hughes, however, warned her some form of recompense would have to be made to her victim or a custodial sentence would result, the maximum term for which carried a 12 month spell behind bars.

When she returned to court last week, Ms Hishon's defence solicitor Frank Gearty said his client had had a change of heart.

“She (Ms Hishon) said she would do jail, but she has reflected properly and I now have the €700,” said Mr Gearty, adding the monies had been collected from Ms Hishon's monthly children's allowance intake.

Ms Hishon, herself, accepted she had been left with little option but to delve into funds that would otherwise have gone to her children.

“Usually, that (money) would have gone to the children,” she said.

“But, I had no other way to pay it.”

However, Judge Hughes replied by warning Ms Hishon of the consequences which potentially awaited her had she decided against proferring money to the court.

“Don't forget, if you are charged with a section 3 assault, it can carry five years in prison,” he said.

Mr Gearty added Ms Hishon was someone who had suffered from anxiety and depression in the past.

Judge Hughes, in accepting the money handed into court, said Ms Kirwan had been “partially compensated” and signed off on the case by fining Ms Hishon €250.

She was given three months to pay.

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