Woman compared to ‘incredible hulk’ by victim jailed for assault

Alice Byrne jailed for attack which Sandra Comer says left her permanently disfigured

A woman described by her victim as being like ‘the incredible hulk in strength and rage’ when she carried out an unprovoked attack on her, has been sentenced to four years in prison. Photograph:  Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

A woman described by her victim as being like ‘the incredible hulk in strength and rage’ when she carried out an unprovoked attack on her, has been sentenced to four years in prison. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

 

A woman described by her victim as being like “the incredible hulk in strength and rage” when she carried out an unprovoked attack on her, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Alice Byrne (44) kicked and punched Sandra Comer in the stomach and chest as she stood outside a hospital having a cigarette with an acquaintance.

Byrne, of Horizon Buildings, Royal Canal Park, Ashtown, Dublin 15, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown on August 13th, 2017.

She further pleaded guilty to trespass and criminal damage at Clonshaugh Road, Coolock on October 1st, 2015 and was sentenced to nine months in prison for that offence. This sentence was backdated to last December.

Judge Pauline Codd sentenced Byrne to four years for the assault case with the final 12 months suspended.

Garda Gavin Coleman told the court that Ms Comer noticed Byrne shouting at a man calling him a heroin addict. She said she did not even look up at the time because she did not want to draw attention to herself and her friend as she knew “the woman was trouble”.

Byrne came over and talked to the women briefly before walking off. Some time later they saw Byrne “battering” the man she had been earlier calling a heroin addict before she returned to Ms Comer and her friend.

Shouting

Garda Coleman said Byrne started shouting at the two women, asking ‘what did you say to my fella?’

They replied that they had said nothing and Byrne started shouting.

She then walked away but Ms Comer then saw Byrne “going for me full tilt” while the man tried to hold her back. She said Byrne got free and “launched at me, kicked and punched me in the stomach”.

Ms Comer told gardaí­ she was in the “foetal position” and Byrne was “like the incredible hulk in strength and rage”. The man eventually got Byrne off her just as Ms Comer started to black out.

Ms Comer said she could not see and thought she was going to die. She managed to get inside and security was called. She was bleeding, blacking out, hyperventilating and screaming.

Garda Coleman said Ms Comer’s friend told gardaí­ the victim was kicked in the face, sending blood everywhere.

“I couldn’t make out her face with all the blood,” she said in her statement.

Byrne was nominated as a suspect but nothing of significance came out of the follow up interviews with gardaí­.

A victim impact statement said that Ms Comer needed a number of stitches and now has nerve damage to the side of her face. She said her life has changed since. She suffers panic attacks and is depressed.

Disfigured

Her breast implants were affected by kicks she got to the chest during the assault. She has no feeling in her nose and upper lip and has had to have two operations. She said she has a permanently disfigured face.

The court heard during the burglary case, previously heard in October this year, that Byrne facilitated and directed her son Josh (23) and two other men to smash the windows and contents of his girlfriend’s family home. There had been an argument earlier between Byrne and the mother of Josh’s girlfriend, Rebecca Halligan.

Later that day Ms Halligan’s sister opened the door of her home to Alice Byrne, who facilitated the three men in entering the house.

Josh Byrne and the two other men proceeded to smash various household items, windows and the front door with baseball bats. According to the victims, this was all under the direction of Byrne’s mother.

Josh Byrne with an address at Spencer Street, North Strand, Dublin, received a two year fully suspended sentence on condition that he engage with the Probation Service. He pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal damage at the Halligan property in Coolock, Dublin, on October 1st, 2015.