Woman withdrew an allegation of assault

A WOMAN who withdrew a complaint against an Abbeyleix man who allegedly gave her two black eyes is to be treated as a hostile witness.

Andrew Bell, 24 The Fairways, Abbeyleix, was charged with breach of a barring order, at 25 Lynden Court, Portlaoise, and 1 Woodgrove, Ballyfin Road, Portlaoise, on June 21.

At last week’s court, Inspector Tom Finnerty said that Ms Leanne Johnson had made a statement claiming Bell had breached a barring order and assaulted her on that date.

The inspector said that Ms Johnson made a subsequent statement saying she no longer wanted garda involvement and wished for the matter to be dropped.

Ms Johnson herself took the stand to inform the court that she was under no pressure to withdraw the statement, even though she had allegedly been smacked around the head and received two black eyes in the assault.

Judge Catherine Staines asked the inspector whether he wished to treat Ms Johnson as a hostile witness, to which the inspector replied that was the gardaí’s application.

“I’m not happy with you withdrawing the complaint,” Judge Staines told Ms Johnson. “I’m concerned that a court order has been breached.”

Defence for Bell, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick asked the court to ensure Ms Johnson stops phoning and texting her client.

Judge Staines ordered Ms Johnson to have no contact with Bell and the matter was put back to July 26.


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