Woman attacked neighbour over a row about borrowing a ‘hoover’
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Woman attacked neighbour over a row about borrowing a ‘hoover’

A woman who attacked her neighbour with a screwdriver in a row over a borrowed modern household convenience has received an 18-month prison sentence, reports Declan Brennan.

Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that the attack by Ruth Ennis (46) on her next-door neighbour in Clondalkin, was due to “a dispute over a hoover”.

The court heard that in September 2021, Ennis, of Rosebank Place, Ninth Lock Road, Clondalkin, had borrowed a Dyson vacuum cleaner from Daniel Casey.

When another neighbour asked the victim, who was aged around 30, for the loan of the labour-saving device, Mr Casey went back to the defendant the following morning to pick it up.

The defendant was unhappy about this as she told Mr Casey that she had charged the battery for the device and wanted to use it.

That evening, Mr Casey went to his front door and found Ennis standing there holding something in her hand behind her back.

She managed to get inside the victim’s house and followed him into the kitchen where she began swiping at him with a screwdriver.

Mr Casey hit back in self-defence but Ennis continued coming at him. The victim later told garda that “she kept trying to stab me”.

She inflicted some wounds to his arm and elbow. She also then picked up a steel trim from the kitchen floor and hit him with this.

The court heard that she was intoxicated during the attack. Rebecca Smith BL, defending, said her client was “absolutely off her head” and was very remorseful.

Ennis pleaded guilty to assault causing harm, property damage and production of a screwdriver during a dispute on September 19, 2021. Her 11 previous convictions include theft, robbery and use of a forged prescription.

She was granted bail but choose to go into custody while on remand for these charges and has completed an “alternatives to violence” course while in custody, Ms Smith said.

She said Ennis is a different person now to the woman who attacked Mr Casey and has a very good work history.

Judge Martin Nolan said that Ennis had some animus towards the victim and this had increased during the day as she mulled over it.

He said she has an alcohol problem but noted in mitigation her guilty pleas and her apology.

He backdated an 18-month prison term to the day of the assault, when Ennis went into custody.

He told Ennis that she should have nothing to do with her neighbour when she gets out of prison and “don’t borrow any more hoovers”.

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