Woman who assaulted another she accused of having affair with husband given suspended sentence

Judge said offence would have merited 3 years in prison but for compensation paid and other factors

A woman who claimed her husband was having an affair with a woman who she assaulted in a bar with a glass has avoided jail after making a “token of remorse” of €5,000 to the injured woman.

Margaret Saville and Jamie Murray crossed paths at the Bridge Inn in Dungloe, Co Donegal in the early hours of September 7th, 2019.

Ms Murray was out for a drink with friends when she went to the smoking area just after midnight.

Ms Saville, aged 38, approached her and knocked a drink out of her hand leading Ms Murray to throw her drink over her.

The accused followed Ms Murray and asked for a word and ended up pushing a glass Ms Murray was holding up towards her chin with such force that it broke.

Blood began pouring down Ms Murray’s chest and she was rushed to a NowDoc medical service.

Garda Dermot Gallen said was good CCTV footage of the entire incident.

Ms Saville, of Cois Locha, Gweedore Road, Dungloe, was arrested on September 24th and admitted the incident. She said the reason she approached Ms Murray was because she had had an affair with her husband but never intended for what happened to happen.

Medical evidence given in court from Dr Donal Walsh said the victim suffered from five lacerations but could not receive needles as she had a needle phobia.

Instead, she received paper stitches and also received tablets for any infection.

Barrister for Ms Saville, Mr Sean Magee said his client accepted fully what had happened and was very apologetic to Ms Murray.

She had managed to cobble together the sum of €1,000 by way of an apology to Ms Murray.

Judge John Aylmer said the injuries suffered by the unfortunate victim were “appalling” and the offence would merit a prison sentence of three years but he had to consider that Ms Saville had no previous convictions.

He said that nonetheless, the €1,000 offered by the accused fell short of the sum which would have to be offered so as the accused would not serve a custodial sentence.

In July, 2021, Judge Aylmer adjourned the case for a year and ordered Ms Saville to have the sum of €5,000 in court and he would review the case then.

The court was told on Monday that Ms Saville had gathered the balance of the money and that Ms Murray was open to accepting the cash token.

Judge Aylmer said because of her early plea, her cooperation, the fact that it was completely out of character and the lack of any previous convictions, he was reducing the sentence to one of two years. He added that due to the accused having had mental health issues and taking into account other factors, including a very positive report from the probation services, he was suspending the entire two year sentence.

He ordered Ms Saville to be of good behaviour for 12 months and also to abstain from alcohol for that time.