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Woman jailed for scalding man with boiling water and sugar

Woman jailed for scalding man with boiling water and sugar

A recovering drug addict who threw boiling water and sugar on her friend because she claimed he had offered her heroin has been sentenced to three years.

Sentencing Sharon Naughton (38) today Judge Karen O'Connor said it was a “difficult and sad case”.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has previously heard Naughton had a harrowing childhood and was introduced to heroin at the age of 14.

Oisin Clarke BL, defending, said she probably became “the youngest person on a methadone programme in the State” at the age of 15.

Naughton of George Hill, Halston St, Dublin pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Brian Kenny in a flat at Prussia St, on June 27, 2015. The final 18 months of the three year term was suspended.

After she was sentenced, Naughton told the judge she was very sorry for her actions.

“I should never have thought of scalding someone,” she said. “It was the wrong thing to do.”

The court heard that a row broke out that morning between the victim and Ms Naughton and her then partner.

Mr Kenny, a Limerick native, had met the other man in 2009 when they were both recovering drug addicts. This man came at Mr Kenny with a knife and began threatening him.

Naughton started screaming and made a dash for the kitchen. She was saying she was going to “scald him”. She boiled a kettle, threw sugar into it and then poured the boiling mixture on the victim's head, shoulders and chest.

After the scalding, Mr Kenny screamed and ran out of the flat as he believed the pair were going to kill him. He called 999 and later told gardaí, “I was never so frightened in my life”.

When gardai arrived at the flat Naughton admitted the attack and claimed Mr Kenny had sexually assaulted her. She immediately admitted this was untrue and said she had assaulted him because he had offered her heroin and had left syringes around the flat.

The victim had been injecting heroin the night before but told gardaí he didn't know why Naughton and her partner attacked him.

Naughton said she knew that adding sugar to the boiling water would increase the harm and the scarring caused. She said she had seen it done like that in Mountjoy prison.

She was horrified after gardaí showed her photographs of the burns to Mr Kenny's body and became extremely remorseful, saying “I'm so so sorry. God, I pray for him”.

Dr Anju Madani told the court that he has been treating Naughton for 11 years. He said she was one of the first casualties of so called legal highs such as Snow Blow.

He said the first time she took these mephedrone-based stimulants she ended up in the Liffey on a cold December morning and was pulled out by a Russian man who saw her go in.

He said the next time she took it she went into a very severe malignant catonia and doctors were forced to perform ECT on her to save her life. As a result of this treatment she lost the child she was caring for at the time.

Dr Madani said that despite her earlier drug abuse, Naughton was a very bright young woman with three young children but that she had lost half of her personality as a result of taking mephedrone and the medical treatment that followed.

Judge O'Connor said taking Snow Blow had a “devastating” effect on Naughton and that her assault on Mr Kenny was out of character.

“She is a different person when she is not under the influence of drugs,” the judge said.

However, she noted Mr Kenny was left “scarred and scared” after the assault.

She sentenced Naughton to three years' imprisonment, but suspended the final 18 months, noting that Dr Madani had agreed she would benefit from time in custody.