Dublin glamour model accused of scratching woman and biting her hand during fight

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
The hearing of Dublin model Bridget Byrne (25), who works under the name of Ava Van Rose, will go ahead in February
The hearing of Dublin model Bridget Byrne (25), who works under the name of Ava Van Rose, will go ahead in February

A NEW trial date has been set for a glamour model who claims she acted in self-defence when she allegedly scratched another woman's face and bit her hand during a fight.

The hearing of Dublin model Bridget Byrne (25), who works under the name of Ava Van Rose, will go ahead in February, a judge ordered today. 

The new date had to be set after the mother-of-three kept changing her instructions to her solicitor. The model, who also starred in the short-lived reality show Infectious, appeared at Dublin District Court where she faces a single charge of assault causing harm.

It is alleged she attacked Helen Guinan at a house at Wheatfield Avenue in Clondalkin, in Dublin, on October 20, 2013. Defence solicitor Brian Keenan indicated that the case would be contested on the grounds that Ms Byrne was acting in self-defence and the trial had been scheduled to take place today. 

When it was called Mr Keenan explained that he had been contacted on Monday because his instructions from Ms Byrne had changed. As a result he notified prosecuting garda that he would not need to bring witnesses, including the complainant, to court.

However, todat Ms Byrne, who did not address the court, again changed her instructions to her solicitor meaning the witnesses will be required to give evidence, and she will be contesting the case.

He also said her instructions have changed “quite a bit over the past seven days”.

Judge Miriam Malone agreed to grant an adjournment but said she was marking the case peremptory against Ms Byrne and warned her “it is definitely going ahead on the next date”.

The charge is under Section Three of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act. Judge Malone had accepted jurisdiction for the case to be dealt with at district court level after she was given an outline of the prosecution evidence

Garda Gerard Clifford of Ronanstown station told the court that on October 20, 2013 the defendant entered a house at Wheatfield Avenue, the home of the complainant, and allegedly “assaulted her”.

He said Ms Guinan “received scratches to the face and a bite to the hand”. Her wounds were superficial and treated with creams, he said, adding that both women were known to each other.

Gardai received a complaint two days later and they interviewed Ms Byrne, who now has an address at An Luasan, Ballybrit, Co. Galway.

Her solicitor said she is pleading not guilty and said Ms Byrne “will say it was in self-defence”.

The judge heard there are four witnesses, two for prosecution and two for the defence, who will give evidence and be cross-examined.

The garda had been ordered to provide the defence with copies of statements and medical evidence. A district court conviction for the assault could result in a fine and a possible sentence of up to one year.