Dublin glamour model avoids jail for frenzied 'bite and scratch' attack on woman

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Bridget Byrne, AKA Ava Von Rose
Bridget Byrne, AKA Ava Von Rose

A DUBLIN glamour model has been given a two-month suspended sentence after she admitted she jumped on her ex-boyfriend's new partner and began to bite and scratch her.

Bridget Byrne (26), who works under the name of Ava Van Rose, appeared before Judge John Cheatle at Dublin District Court on Wednesday to have her case finalised.

Byrne had pleaded guilty earlier to assault causing harm to Helen Guinan her at a house at Wheatfield Avenue in Clondalkin, in Dublin, on October 20, 2013.

The judge noted from a victim impact statement that Ms Guinan now lives "in constant fear", and that after the assault the defendant had made threats to her. The court also heard there have been on-going issues which both women have been reported to gardai.

Defence counsel Anna Bazarchina said that this related to phone calls and that Byrne, who did not address the court, has not been involved in any further violence. Pleading for leniency, she asked the judge to note that her client is remorseful and her guilty plea spared the victim from facing cross-examination in court.

She said a conviction could leave her client jobless and Byrne is suffering from depression. A medical report was also handed in to the judge. The court has heard she hopes to study to become a personal trainer.

The judge also noted that a favourable pre-sentence report on her had been furnished and she had engaged with the Probation Service in relation to employment and training.

The model, who also starred in the short-lived reality show Infectious, had initially indicated she would contest the case on the grounds that she acted in self self-defence.

However, she admitted the offence and accepted she caused the injuries.

Garda Gerard Clifford of Ronanstown station told Judge Cheatle that Ms Byrne has a child with Helen Guinan's partner. There had been a row over their arrangements for the child to be collected.

Gda Clifford said that mother-of-three Byrne, who has no prior criminal convictions, turned up at Ms Guinan's home.

Gda Clifford said that when the door was opened Byrne "jumped on Helen Guinan in the front hall and put her fingers in her eyes, she was biting her left hand and scratching her face".

The woman suffered cuts to her face and the skin on her hand was broken. A medical report was handed in and Gda Clifford agreed with the defence that the injuries were superficial and that it was a minor assault.

Gardai received a complaint two days later and they interviewed Ms Byrne, who now has an address at An Luasan, Ballybrit, Co. Galway but is from Clondalkin in west Dublin.

Gda Clifford also agreed that Byrne did not have any prior criminal convictions and has not come to garda attention since. The garda agreed that that the row was over family matters.

A district court conviction for the assault could result in a fine and a possible sentence of up to one year's imprisonment.