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Woman to be sentenced later for assaulting two staff in the hostel she was staying in

By Sonya McLean

A woman who stabbed a hostel cleaner after biting another member of staff who tried to stop a fight has been remanded on bail pending sentence later.

Mary Bridget McCann (18) was a resident in the hostel in College Street, Dublin 2, when a fight broke out between her and another woman staying there.

The first staff member, a porter, tried to intervene when she saw McCann had a steak knife.

McCann bit her finger and held onto it for ten seconds before the second victim, a cleaner, came to his colleague’s assistance.

McCann stabbed him in the thigh and there were concerns an artery in his leg had been ruptured because of the extent of his blood loss.

McCann, who is now living in homeless accommodation on the North Circular Road with Focus Ireland, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of assault causing harm on October 11, 2020.

She has 23 previous convictions, including nine for assault causing harm and eight for assault.

Garda Cathal Kelly told Gareth McCormack BL, prosecuting, that McCann was arrested and questioned that day. She said she had not meant to stab the hostel cleaner and said she could not recall biting the woman.

Gda Kelly agreed that the man has not returned to working in the hostel because of his anxiety around the assault. He was treated for a 2cm cut to his thigh and there was no tendon or nerve damage.

The second victim was treated for a bite wound to her finger and got a preventive injection for hepatitis B and tetanus. She said in her victim impact statement that she forgave McCann and wanted to wish her “all the best” although she said McCann should think of how her actions will affect others.

Gda Kelly agreed with Kate Egan BL, defending, that there had been an argument over money in the hostel and McCann believed that someone had taken €10 from her.

She further agreed that McCann claimed she was carrying the knife for her own protection.

Gda Kelly accepted that McCann made admissions during garda interview and co-operated with the investigation.

Ms Egan told the court that her client had lived in and out of care since she was three years old and had been in 48 different placements. This had been her first placement in an adult hostel.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned the sentence to November 3 next after she noted that McCann is now in stable accommodation with appropriate supports. She ordered a report from the Probation Service for that date.

“She seems to have a worrying pre-disposition to lashing out when she finds herself in stressful situations,” Judge Greally said.

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