Suspended sentence for woman with County Down address who pulled screaming girl (16) along ground by the hair 'for 30 seconds' in Larne

Suspended sentence for woman with County Down address who pulled screaming girl (16) along ground by the hair 'for 30 seconds' in Larne

A WOMAN (31) who pulled a screaming 16-year-old girl along the ground by the hair for around 30 seconds claimed she herself had been attacked in Larne after she was asked where she was from and was called a "Fenian".

Ciara Louise McCamphill, of Circular Road, Castlewellan, appeared at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, where sentencing had been deferred on charges of assaulting two teenagers and being disorderly at Linn Road in Larne last November.

She also admitted assaulting a police officer and possessing drugs.

A prosecutor told a previous court that police were tasked to a report of a "fight" in the Craigyhill area of Larne and found McCamphill sitting under goalposts at an astroturf football pitch "extremely intoxicated and emotional".

The prosecution lawyer said a group of young people had been playing football when McCamphill approached them and "asked them to fight".

The lawyer added: "She threw a punch at one of the youths but missed and then struck the injured party, who was 15, on the left cheek with a closed fist, leaving redness".

McCamphill then shouted at a 16-year-old girl to "come here" and grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the ground.

The prosecutor added: "She dragged her along the ground by her hair for approximately 30 seconds."

The court heard members of a local community group responded to "screams" and managed to get McCamphill away from the girl who suffered pain to her scalp.

When arrested the defendant shouted and swore at police and on the way to a PSNI station she asked to get her medication at her then address, a Simon Community hostel.

Diazepam was found.

In the police station McCamphill lunged at an officer with both hands causing her injury to the officer's neck, arms and hand.

The defendant told police she had been at a house with friends and after leaving got talking to two people - "one of whom she recognised" - and there was a group of around "40 people" at football pitches.

The prosecutor added: "She stated that people came over and asked her where she was from; were calling her a 'Fenian'; and she states that she was the one who was assaulted, that her hair extensions were ripped out and her nose was 'busted' open".

McCamphill told police she had drank half a bottle of vodka but had not taken any drugs other than her prescription medication.

Also at the earlier court sitting, District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant, the Larne incident had been "serious".

He told her: "I know you thought that you started off the victim but that's no excuse for assaulting two young people and dragging a female down by the hair. Assaulting a young boy as well is totally unacceptable."

The judge had deferred sentencing until September and told the defendant to stay out of trouble and to engage positively with her Probation Order.

The new court hearing was told the defendant had not re-offended and had been engaging "positively" with Probation.

Judge Broderick handed down a three months prison term, suspended for a year.