Woman challenges account of assault on garda in Tralee

A woman charged with assaulting a garda in a cell at Tralee garda station says she doesn’t want to pay compensation because she doesn’t believe the garda was injured. Tralee Garda Station Stephanie Bawden of Market Gate House, Market Street, Tralee, said she would prefer to fight her case on the basis of a not guilty plea. Judge James O’Connor said she had lashed out at the garda during the incident. Stephanie Bawden was arrested on foot of a bench warrant on April 15th, 2014 and was taken to Tralee Garda Station. Inspector Donal Ashe told Tralee District Court that when taken to a cell in the station, Ms Bawden had lashed out and struck a female garda on the left hand side of her head. At a previous court appearance, she was ordered to pay €1,000 to the injured party and €500 to the Garda Benevolent Fund. In evidence, Ms Bawden, who has nine previous convictions, said she thought this was very severe and insisted she hadn’t punched the garda. She asked if CCTV footage of the incident was available, which it was not, to which she replied there was CCTV to keep an eye on the public but not on the gardaí. Judge James O’Connor said there was a lashing out involved and he adjourned the matter to December 18th.