Homeless mother-of-five attacked woman with chisel at Regency Hotel in Dublin

The assault occurred at the Regency Hotel (Pic: Google Maps)
The assault occurred at the Regency Hotel (Pic: Google Maps)

A homeless mother-of-five has been given an 18-month suspended sentence for assaulting another resident with a chisel while staying in emergency accommodation in a Dublin hotel.

Lisa Blake (38) formerly of The Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Michelle Lowry at the hotel on July 30, 2013. She has no previous convictions.

The court previously heard that Blake mistakenly thought Ms Lowry caused her to be evicted from the hotel and the victim now has a permanent scar on her nose as a result of the assault.

At an earlier sentence hearing Fiona Murphy BL, defending said that up to ten years ago Blake had been living in her own home and was living a very respectable life. She said as a result of the economic downturn and becoming addicted to heroin she lost her home.

In a victim impact report Ms Lowry said she felt sorry for Blake as she understood the pressure and stress she was living under at the time.

Ms Lowry told gardai that Blake started trying to stab at her. The victim's four year old daughter was in the hotel room and was screaming while her teenage son ran out to get help.

Judge Elma Sheahan said today that an “unprovoked assault was perpetrated on someone who had been a friend of the accused”.

She said Blake was “troubled” and accepted that she “snapped at a time of huge pressure”.

Judge Sheahan accepted that Blake had since offered a full apology to the victim and that it was unlikely that she would appear in court again.

Blake was also ordered to engage with the probation services for 18 months and take part in drug treatment programmes and work programmes offered to her.

The court also heard Blake and her children have since secured accommodation and are currently staying with her former partner although she is not in a relationship with him.

Garda James Woods told the earlier sentence hearing that Blake went into the victim's room and hit and kicked while repeatedly screaming “you're a rat” at her. She pulled the woman by the hair and was holding her down when she pulled out a chisel.

The scuffle moved into the hotel corridor where it was broken up by other residents.

Ms Murphy said Blake was “disgusted and ashamed’ of her actions and knew her behaviour could not be excused by the situation she found herself living in.

Blake had been drinking earlier that day at a family gathering and the alcohol had reacted very badly to medication she had been prescribed.

Counsel said Blake had no memory of bringing the chisel to the altercation.  

Declan Brennan/Laura Colgan