A man who pushed a woman down steps causing her injuries to her knees in a case of mistaken identity has been fined €1,000.
Sean Brogan, aged 39, of 9 Croagh Patrick Letterkenny, was found guilty of assault after pushing a woman who he wrongly believed had assaulted his niece.
The victim was Emma Nee, the mother of Brogan’s niece Nikita Brogan’s then-boyfriend.
On 11th March 2018, Ms Nee had come to her son’s girlfriend’s aid after she was assaulted on a night out. Letterkenny District Court heard that Nikita had suffered facial injuries and was bleeding.
The assault on Ms Nee took place when she brought Nikita to her grandmother’s house at around 9pm. Ms Nee had walked Nikita to the front door of the house and was standing on the steps outside when she was attacked.
“All of a sudden, this lunatic came running down the stairs, put his hands on me and pushed me down three or four steps,” Ms Nee said.
Ms Nee landed on both knees. She left the scene in shock and visited the GP the following day. She was referred to A&E for swelling and bruising and told the court that she now has a weakness in her knees.
Brogan admitted assault after the incident. His statement to garda said: “I just freaked out when I saw Nakita covered in blood.”
Brogan told gardaí that he had been upstairs in the house when Ms Nee brought Nikita to the door. He said he did not know what was going on, and when he saw Nikita’s “black and blue” state, his first reaction was to push the woman at the door.
Defence solicitor Mr Frank Dorrian said that Brogan was willing to apologise for the assault. Mr Dorrian said Brogan “made a mistake” in believing that the woman at the door was not coming to the assistance of Nikita, but was the cause of the problem.
“If we all reacted like that, what kind of society would we be living in?” Ms Nee asked.
Brogan did not know Ms Nee prior to the incident and Ms Nee’s son is no longer in a relationship with Brogan’s niece, the court was told.
Judge Paul Kelly said Ms Nee was performing a “good Samaritan” role on the night and the assault was undoubtedly a “traumatic experience” for her.
Judge Kelly ordered Brogan to make a gesture of €1,000 to the victim.