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Man struck older neighbour after row over her dogs, court hears

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A SECURITY guard struck out at a female neighbour, hitting her on the shoulder, following a dispute over her dogs, a court has heard.

Karl Hartnett (44) had a drink problem at the time but he had since sought help for it.

Judge John King fined Hartnett €400 and imposed a four-month sentence, suspended for two years.

The defendant, of Dún Saithne Crescent, Balbriggan, admitted assaulting a woman near his home on May 9, 2019.

Sergeant Patricia McGarrity told Swords District Court that Hartnett was caught on CCTV footage striking out at the victim, hitting her on the shoulder and neck.

The woman, who is in her 60s, was not injured in the assault.

Sgt McGarrity said the incident arose over an argument about the victim’s dogs.

Hartnett further admitted threatening and abusive behaviour at Dún Saithne Crescent in Balbriggan on July 3, 2019.

In that incident, Garda Aidan Marks said Hartnett approached the two injured parties when they were sitting in their front garden.

Gda Marks said Hartnett started shouting at them, repeatedly saying “f*ck off” and saying “I’ll alienate you”.

He also said: “If I go to prison I’ll come out like a demon.”

The court heard Hartnett had 12 previous convictions, mostly for public order matters. Defence solicitor Fiona D’Arcy said Hartnett had been drinking to excess at the time of these offences, following a very difficult break-up.

Ms D’Arcy said Hartnett’s life had been completely chaotic for a period but he was now working part-time as a security guard.

Hartnett received a sentence earlier this year, and was currently on temporary release, Ms D’Arcy said.

He had got a sharp shock when he received a sentence, and it was an incentive to remain alcohol-free.

Ms D’Arcy also said Hartnett was receiving assistance with his alcohol problem.

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