Scorned woman's €4k damage to car
By Eimear Cotter
Tuesday November 23 2010
A scorned woman caused nearly €4,000 worth of damage to her ex-lover's car after she twice scraped it with a key, a court heard.
Sandra O'Neill (48) escaped without a conviction after a judge applied the Probation Act, saying "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".
The defendant said she found the break-up of her relationship with Michael Walsh very difficult and that she still gets upset when she talks about it.
Swords District Court heard Mr Walsh was also O'Neill's employer, and she lost her job in April 2010. Their relationship broke up in August 2009.
O'Neill, of Jugback Green in Swords, admitted to damaging her former partner's car in August 2009. O'Neill later owned up to causing the damage, and paid €900 to repair it.
She was also found guilty of a second count of criminal damage last April. Mr Walsh said he parked his car in Swords village and when he came back to the car the following day, around 7am, there were scrapes and marks all over the side of the vehicle.
Mr Walsh said he immediately drove the car to Swords Garda Station and reported the damage.
About €3,000 of damage was caused by a key being scraped along the side and back of the car.
Garda Amanda King told Swords court that O'Neill admitted she caused the damage when she was interviewed a few days later.
O'Neill, who has no previous convictions, claimed she was upset, had been drinking wine and Irish coffees, and was on medication for depression.
In her evidence to the court, O'Neill denied she damaged the car, saying she felt under pressure to admit she did it to gardai as Mr Walsh's son is a garda.
Judge John Coughlan found O'Neill guilty of criminal damage.
– Eimear Cotter