Two-year sentence for ‘violent’ woman who bit garda

West Street, Drogheda
West Street, Drogheda

A woman who assaulted an off-duty garda and sank her teeth into his ear was yesterday handed a two-year jail sentence for the “vicious” attack.

Hannah Gribbon, 24, who pleaded guilty to the assault which occurred at West Street, Drogheda on December 29th, 2010, began weeping as her jail term was handed down.

Judge Michael O’Shea stated that the garda had tried to escape but Gribbon’s teeth were embedded in his ear.

An earlier court hearing heard that the victim was an off-duty garda, who had come across two women arguing while waiting for a taxi home after a social night out.

Both women had bottles in hand, while one said to the other: “What are you saying about me? I’ll kill you.”

The officer attempted to separate the two women when an incident occurred, the court heard.

An attack was then launched on the garda at West Street by Gribbon, who has an address at St Finian’s Park, Drogheda.

The judge, passing sentence on Tuesday, said the garda had taken “a number of blows to his head” while his hands were raised as he tried to protect himself.

Gribbon had “went at him” with her mouth open, chomping down on his right ear.

Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court heard that her jaws had locked so that the garda’s ear became wedged in her teeth.

The judge remarked that the victim was subjected to a “vicious, violent, brutal assault by Hannah Gribbon.

“He tried to pull away but her teeth were embedded."

The victim has been left with a permanent disfigurement, despite having undergone plastic surgery – which he will require more of.

Gribbon was addicted to alcohol and prescription medication at the time of the assault, the earlier hearing had heard, but had not come to the attention of the authorities since the 2010 attack.

The court was told that Gribbon left school at 14 and has taken positive steps to address her drug abuse.

Adjournment of the assailant’s sentence had occured several times, as Gribbon was awaiting the settlement of a road traffic accident.

She made an offer of €5,000 to her victim but Judge O’Shea was told that the garda did not wish to accept.

The judge stated that despite her trouble-free record since the attack, there were still substantially aggravating factors in Gribbon’s case.

He imposed a three-year jail sentence, suspending the final year on condition of Gribbon entering into a bond to be of good behaviour for a year on her release.