Family feud | 

Man who dragged sister out of car and assaulted her says 'I was totally in the right'

Elizabeth Stanton suffered a fractured neck after her brother and niece dragged her from a car over property dispute

Patrick Stanton says he will appeal the conviction for assaulting his sister Elizabeth

Patrick O'Connell

A man convicted of dragging his sister out of her car and assaulting her in a property dispute has vowed to appeal, saying: "I was totally in the right … I know that."

Patrick Stanton (59), of Ballynaught, Bruree, Co Limerick and his daughter Sarena Stanton (32), of Ash Hill, Kilmallock, both pleaded not guilty to assaulting Patrick's sister Elizabeth in a row outside her home in Bruree on September 4, 2020.

Patrick's son Alick Stanton (34), of Ballynaught, Bruree, also pleaded not guilty to a charge of criminal damage arising from an allegation he had 'danced on the roof' of Elizabeth's car after his father and sister had pulled her from her vehicle and assaulted her.

All three were convicted of the offences at Kilmallock District Court last month.

Liz Stanton

But this week Patrick said he is now appealing the conviction.

"I'd prefer to have nothing to do with it," he said. "Because it is all about the property here. And I've a bit to sort out yet."

Asked whether he was going to appeal the conviction, Patrick responded: "Oh yeah."

"I'll wait and see how the appeal goes now and see how things go on. I'd no say and I was totally in the right … I know that. But I want no more about it now at the moment until it dies down and the appeal happens."

During a lengthy hearing at Kilmallock District Court, the injured party in the case, Elizabeth Stanton, told the court that when she returned to her home in Bruree on September 4, 2020, her brother, nephew and niece were on her drive.

"Alick started jumping on my car," she said.

"Sarena dragged me out of the car. She and Patrick were both kicking me on the ground. I curled up. My ribs, neck, breasts, back - I had bruising all over me.

"I lost a lot of hair. I thought it would never stop. My son arrived. He helped me get up. I got into my car and drove into the back of my house."

She said her car's bumper, roof, headlamps, windscreen, bonnet and headlights were damaged.

Inspector Pat Brennan handed in the repairs invoice from Hinchy's Garage for €5,551 to Judge Patricia Harney.

Insp Brennan then asked the woman about her injuries.

"I was in hospital for a few days. I had two cracked ribs, fractured neck and bruising," she said. A report from UHL was handed to the judge.

Robin Lee, solicitor for the three defendants, put it to the woman that it was all a "fabrication".

"No," she said.

Mr Lee said there was no report from ShannonDoc and no report from a doctor because when you went to them they "found nothing wrong with you".

Patrick Stanton

Elizabeth Stanton said she doesn't know who did reports but she was in UHL for a number of days due to her injuries.

"I had an MRI and it showed a fracture in my neck," she said.

Judge Harney, who was reading the report from UHL, said an MRI showed a T4 vertebrae fracture in her neck.

When asked if she had she pulled her aunt by the hair out of the car, Sarena Stanton said: "No. She done it to herself. It's all because my father was left the house and everything in the will."

Judge Harney said it was a "sad and difficult story".

"I do not believe she inflicted the injuries on herself. €5,000 worth of damage was caused to her car," said Judge Harney, who found Patrick Stanton and Sarena Stanton guilty of assault and Alick Stanton guilty of criminal damage.

She referred Alick Stanton to the restorative justice programme.

The judge imposed a three month prison sentence suspended for two years on Patrick Stanton.

Sarena Stanton got a sentence of two weeks in prison suspended for two years.

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