Woman behind ‘frightening’ Dublin Bus attacks avoids jail

Emily Stewart pulled hair from victim’s head before attacking her mother days later

A Dublin woman who attacked a mother travelling on a Dublin Bus with her baby has avoided a jail sentence. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

A Dublin woman who attacked a mother travelling on a Dublin Bus with her baby has avoided a jail sentence. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

 

A Dublin woman who attacked a mother travelling on a Dublin Bus with her baby, pulling clumps of hair from the woman’s head, has avoided a jail sentence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Emily Stewart (22) left her victim bleeding from the neck.

Stewart, of Belcamp Avenue, Coolock, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Shannon Ryan on a bus in Dublin, on March 10th, 2017.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of assault causing harm to Sabrina Ryan, the mother of Shannon Ryan, on March 12th, 2017, when she bit her finger, punched her and scraped her face.

On Monday, Judge Martin Nolan fully suspended a six-month sentence for Stewart, noting that there were “pre-existing tensions” between the two families involved.

Garda Daniel Eccles told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that Shannon Ryan got on the 27 bus outside Connolly Station with her three-and-a-half-month-old baby.

The defendant got on at the next stop and ordered Ms Ryan to get off the bus.

The court heard that when Shannon Ryan refused to do this she was “set upon” by the defendant, who grabbed her by the hair.

Mr Eccles said Stewart kicked the victim as she fought back in self-defence.

He told Ms Duffy that the victim sustained cuts to her neck, a loss of hair and bruising to her mouth and face.

Two days later, the victim’s mother was travelling on the same bus route when Stewart encountered her and began verbally abusing her.

“She dived on her, punched her, leaving her with a black eye, and scraped her face,” Mr Eccles said.

Stewart has three previous convictions for theft.

‘Ashamed and embarrassed’

Emmet Nolan BL, defending, said his client was ashamed and embarrassed, despite the fact there was tension between the two families. He said she had co-operated fully with gardaí and had completed a hairdressing apprenticeship.

The court heard Stewart suffered from mental health issues, including anger issues and a borderline personality disorder.

Mr Nolan said Stewart was addicted to drugs at the time of the assaults and was not taking her prescription medication. He said she was remorseful for her actions.

The judge said it seemed to him that the defendant attacked the victims in an unprovoked and nasty way.

“It must have been very frightening for them,” he said.

He noted she was taking steps to deal with her problems, but said that the fact of the matter was that some of her issues were self-induced.

The judge ordered her to pay €750 to each victim within one calendar year.