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17 Aug 2022

Tipperary woman has violent disorder charge dismissed

Tipperary woman has violent disorder charge dismissed

Kenyon Street, Nenagh: scene of an alleged violent disorder incident

A woman charged with violent disorder on a Nenagh street on New Year’s Eve had the case against her dismissed by Nenagh District Court.

Ewelina Bonik, 33, of 234 Coille Bheithe, Nenagh, had pleaded not guilty at an earlier court to the charge of violent disorder on Kenyon Street, Nenagh, in the early hours of January 1, 2018.

Ms Bonik’s sister, Karolina, 26, of 24 Radharc Dearg, Nenagh, had pleaded to the charge.

The earlier court heard that the injured party, a former partner of Karolina, and his girlfriend, had been celebrating New Year’s Eve at a nightclub, when a scuffle ensued after Karolina poured a drink over the injured party.

She was asked to leave the club. When the nightclub closed, the injured party and his girlfriend were confronted by Karolina, Ewelina and their sister Paulina.

A row involving several people lasted more than two minutes and was shown on CCTV to the court.

The injured woman claimed that Ewelina grabbed her by the hair, threw her to the ground and kicked her in the face and head with high-heeled shoes.

The injured man claimed to have “jumped” outside the nightclub. He denied using excessive force in doing so while trying to assist his girlfriend, though he admitted that he “did use some force in defence of his girlfriend.

Garda Ronan Kenny told the court that the injured party and his fiancée arrived at Nenagh Garda Station at 3.34am to allege that they had been assaulted.

The three Bonik sisters visited the station the following day to report the incident.

He said the DPP had directed that only one charge be brought against the sisters, violent disorder.

In the evidence, Karolina had claimed that her ex-partner said he would kill her when she met him in the nightclub. Her clothing was torn in the ensuing scuffle and she had gone back to Ewelina’s car with her sister to change her clothes.

The court heard that the sisters were waiting for another party, who wanted them to bring him home to Silvermines.

Karolina said she left the car and ran across the street to ask her former partner why he had threatened her earlier.

She alleged that she was punched many times and the injured party had also punched Ewelina as she went to separate them.

While she pleaded guilty to the charge, Karolina said she had only pushed her ex-partner; she did not hit him or his fiancée.

Ewelina denied attacking anyone herself and pointed out that she was wearing flat, not high-heeled shoes because she was driving.

“I’m not guilty of this,” Ewelina said in evidence. “I’m the victim.”

In her evidence, Paulina said she was also punched by the injured party.

The court heard that the DPP directed charges against Karolina and Ewelina Bonik but no one else.

During the initial hearing, which lasted three hours, Judge Elizabeth MacGrath said an issue over jurisdiction had arisen and further clarity from the DPP was required and remanded the case back.

When it was back before the court last Friday, solicitor Elizabeth McKeever, for Ewelina Bonik, said that the charge of violent disorder was an unusual one to come before the District Court as it was normally a Circuit Court matter.

She said that her client’s actions arose as she went to defend Karolina.

“My client was severely injured to the mouth and teeth,” said Ms McKeever.

The solicitor denied there had been any use of unlawful violence as Ewelina had gone to defend her sister.

She said the whole experience had been “frightening” for her client, who was a mother of three children, including a new-born baby, and who had never been before a court before.

Judge MacGrath said that she was of the view that an offence had occurred but not one of violent disorder.

She agreed Ewelina had not been the instigator and that the level of violence did not constitute violent disorder.

Judge MacGrath dismissed the charge.
At the earlier court in January, Karolina Bonik had her case adjourned to May to see if she was suitable for the community reparation programme.

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