A “heartbroken” beauty therapist who attacked the mother of her ex-partner during a difficult breakup for her has been given a suspended prison term.
Edel Lovett (33) pulled the 65-year-old victim to the ground, pulled hair from her head, punched her and kicked her in the chest.
Lovett had gone to the woman’s home to confront her former partner who lived there but instead she met the man’s mother.
Lovett of Raphoe Road, Crumlin, Dublin pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Wainsford Manor Crescent, Terenure, Dublin on August 14, 2019.
Her lawyers told the court that she was heartbroken by the breakup and found herself emotionally overwhelmed.
Judge Elma Sheahan said that it spoke volumes for the exceptional character of the victim that she had informed the court she didn’t wish for Lovett to be jailed.
In a statement the victim said that the attack had a profound and devastating effect on her life and she was unable to leave her home for four months.
When she finally did leave she needed to be accompanied and she still struggles with some of the effects of the attack.
The woman told the court it was not her wish to see the defendant go to prison but said she needed to take responsibility.
“She is a young girl and she has her whole life ahead of her,” her victim impact report stated.
Judge Sheahan said that the mitigating factors including Lovett’s psychiatric ill health at the time leading up to the assault.
She said Lovett’s guilty plea demonstrates that she is taking responsibility and said her remorse can be accepted as genuine.
She noted Lovett is of previous good character and the garda evidence was that she would not come before the courts again.
She suspended a prison term of 14 months on condition that Lovett engage with the Probation Service mental health and anger management programme.
She also ordered that Lovett is not to attend at or near the home of the victim.
Finally she ordered that a sum of €3,000 brought to court by Lovett be paid over to the victim and that a further sum of €5,000 be paid over in the next twelve months.
Maddie Grant BL, prosecuting, told Judge Sheahan that the garda had checked with the victim, who was not present in court, about the payment of this money.
Counsel said that while the victim appreciated the offer, she only wished to have her medical costs of around €600 covered.
Judge Sheahan said that the payment was part of the penalty for Lovett’s behaviour and she ordered that anything remaining after the victim’s costs should go to a charity of the victim’s choosing.
Defence barrister David Staunton BL told that this was an “incident of madness” for which his client was “mortally ashamed”.
He said she offers an unequivocal apology and has done whatever she can in the meantime to address the cause of her actions.
He said Lovett had invested a huge amount of time in the relationship with the victim’s son and had hoped it would “flourish” and they would have children.
“She was heartbroken and devastated.
She took it very badly. She was unable to move on in a proper way,” he said.
He said his client has a diagnosed history of depression going back to her teenage years and on the day itself she appeared at the victim’s home “wanting to confront her son”.
Mr Staunton said that his client’s mental health history meant that she found it very difficult with coping with the breakdown of her relationship and she found herself emotionally unstable.
He said she came from a respectable family who continue to support her.
He said she was overwhelmed by the breakup and is now at a loss herself as to how or why the attack occurred.
He said this was an appalling and shocking incident in which the victim suffered collateral damage from the breakdown of the relationship between her son and his client.
He said his client had previously run a beauty salon business and now worked freelance as a beauty therapist.
Garda Jason Hurley told Ms Grant that the victim was returning home after dropping her son to work when she noticed Lovett in the area.
The victim got home and noticed some scratches on her front door which looked like letters, the court heard.
She then thought she saw the defendant walking along with a dog and she walked towards her to see if it was her. She found Lovett crouched down behind a pillar and asked her if she was alright.
Lovett answered back in a rage and grabbed the woman by the back of her head, pulled her to the ground and pulled some hair out of her scalp.
She was shouting at the victim “you’re a fucking psychopath” and kicked the woman in the chest.
The victim tried to crawl away but the Lovett grabbed her again and inflicted more injuries to her face.
The victim later told gardaí that she tried to use her training as a social worker to de-escalate the situation.
After Lovett left the victim was brought to hospital by ambulance and treated for injuries to her face and pains to her chest, hip and shoulder.
It’s the State’s case that this was an unprovoked attack, Ms Grant told the court.