Teenagers in court appeal over attack on Newry Sinn Fein woman
Former Education Minister Caitriona Ruane was in court this week in support of two assault victims after the two teenage women previously found guilty appealed against their sentences. Danielle McCutcheon, of Bronte Road, Ballinaskeagh and Jenna McDowell, of Spelga Drive, Rathfriland, were found guilty of assaulting Noeleen McPolin and her friend Roisin Lynch and originally given two-month sentences for the attack on John Street in Rathfriland on 24 March 2011 . McPolin, a personal assistant to Education Minister Caitriona Ruane at the time, is also an independent member of the Newry and Mourne District Policing Partnership.
Solicitors at the appeal at Newry Courthouse described the original sentence as “disproportionate and unreasonable”. Refuting those claims, the prosecution stated that both attackers had chased the two women into the driveway of a house before attacking them. McPolin and Lynch were then cornered and punched in the head and grabbed by both arms. The court was told that McDowell then kicked out at Lynch. McDowell pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm and common assault and McCutcheon pleaded guilty to common assault.
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