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‘Completely out of character’ for Bessbrook woman who stabbed partner with knife

The injured party had said she swung her hands at him scraping his head and face before grabbing a kitchen knife and stabbing him once in the shoulder and once in the back

Newry courthouse police

A Bessbrook woman who stabbed her partner following a verbal argument has been ordered to complete an 18 month probation order.

The 34-year-old’s barrister told court: “She instructs that she simply lashed out. This is completely out of character and in the past year this has been something which has been dominating her thoughts.”

Zara Torrens, of Dobsons Way, did not appear as her case was listed for sentencing at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Defence barrister Stephen Campbell informed the court that his client, who pleaded guilty to the single charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm back in June, was isolating due to Covid.

He asked if the matter could be dealt with in her absence, which District Judge Eamonn King agreed to.

Prosecution outlined that at 12.30pm on May 15, of last year, police received a report of a domestic disturbance involving a knife at an address on Chapel Street, Newry.

The injured party’s mother contacted police after receiving a call from her son in which he claimed to have been assaulted by the defendant, his partner.

Upon arrival at the address, officers quickly separated the pair before speaking with the injured party.

He claimed that at 12.15pm, Torrens had arrived at the property with his two children and after they left the room a verbal argument ensued.

The injured party described how the defendant had swung her hands at him scraping his head and face, before grabbing a kitchen knife and stabbing him, once in the shoulder and once in the back.

Prosecution described one inch deep lacerations in images which were provided to the judge.

The injured party stated that Torrens had then washed the knife and he had called his mother to get her to contact police.

The defendant was arrested and during interview she denied stabbing her partner but admitted to pushing him in the face.

Torrens claimed that she had washed the knife  along with other items whilst getting a drink for one of the children.

At a previous hearing, court heard that the injured party had withdrawn his statement of complaint and did not wish to pursue the matter.

This led to the charges being reduced from one of wounding to the charge which was pleaded to.

On Wednesday, Mr Campbell stated: “This lady and her partner have been in a relationship for seven years. I can say that there is no history of domestic violence. This would appear to be an aberration.”

The barrister informed the court that the argument had begun after Torrens had discovered the injured party drinking whilst he should have been at work.

He said: “She instructs that she simply lashed out, this is completely out of character and in the past year this has been something which has been dominating her thoughts.”

District Judge King stated: “This is an offence of an assault on a person with a knife…the court had two pictures of wounds, what concerns the court is is that if you lash out, you only do it the once.

“But I have read the presentence report which does assess her as having a low likelihood of reoffending and there is nothing on her record which shows a propensity for violence.”

Torrens was sentenced to 18 months probation for the offence before the court.

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