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Hair-raising Mum tore student's hair out in clumps in random Dublin street attack

McElhatton had 144 prior convictions for offences including assault.


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A mum-of-two pulled clumps of hair from a student's head and scratched and punched her face, leaving her bleeding, in a random attack.

Jackie McElhatton (45) also broke a second victim's glasses when she drunkenly set upon the friends as they walked through Dublin city centre.

Her alcohol use had spiralled out of control because the addiction services she relied on were not available, a court heard.

Judge Bryan Smyth jailed her for six months after hearing she had 144 prior convictions, including several for assault.

McElhatton, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to one student, assaulting the second and public order offences.

Dublin District Court heard gardaí were on patrol on O'Connell Street at 12.40am on July 10 last year when they saw the accused pulling the two victims' hair.

She had clenched fists and was also trying to punch and scrape the victims simultaneously as they tried to defend themselves.

The accused pulled clumps of hair out of one woman's head and hit her numerous times to the head, arms and body.

The woman suffered bruising and scratches to her face, with blood coming from the injuries.

The other victim's broken glasses were worth €100.

She suffered bruising around where the glasses had been smashed.

A garda said she left the patrol van and pulled the accused off the victims "before she did any more damage."

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An ambulance was called and the injured woman was treated at the scene, but did not go in the ambulance due to Covid restrictions.

McElhatton was extremely intoxicated and was verbally abusive to the garda, who arrested her.

"At no time did she show any remorse or offer any explanation for her behaviour on the night," the garda said.

She told the judge it was a random attack on the two students who were walking down the street.

McElhatton had 144 prior convictions for offences including assault.

She was already serving another sentence when she appeared in court.

Defence solicitor John Shanley said the accused had "significant alcohol addiction issues."

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