A Craigavon mother “being protective of her daughter” chased a man around the car with a hammer before striking him across the head, a court has heard.
Elizabeth Anne Avery, of Drumbeg, was spared prison on the submissions of her defence counsel and what Deputy District Judge Laura Ievers described as a “very positive” pre-sentence report.
The 55-year-old appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, charged with possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, criminal damage, and common assault.
A prosecution solicitor told the court that on Saturday, April 24, the injured party had alleged Avery – his ex-partner’s mother – approached him with a hammer at Limefield Rise in Craigavon.
The injured party alleged that he was chased around his parked car before being struck with the hammer to the head. His vehicle was also damaged.
The complainant also recorded the incident on a mobile phone, however, he did not sustain any serious injuries .
The defendant attended Lurgan police station where she made no comment to all questions during interviews.
Defence solicitor Conor Lunny told the court that his client’s behaviour was “completely out of character” and that she has never come to police attention before.
“It’s safe to say there had been a previous incident which involved the injured party,” said Mr Lunny.
“Ms Avery, being protective of her daughter, took the foolhardy and completely out of character decision to arm herself with a hammer and chase him around the car and indeed damage that car, much like a teenager would, or a child.
“It was dangerous behaviour and she accepts that. And it was probably inadvisable to conduct a no comment interview but can I ask she is given full credit for the way she has met matters when charges were settled.”
He added: “This relationship [between injured party and the defendant’s daughter] has ceased, thankfully for everyone involved, and this gentleman will be nowhere near the Averys, or indeed her daughter, in the near, or I hope, in the extended future.”
In passing sentence, Deputy District Judge Ievers, commented: “At first blink, when I heard the background to the case, my instinct was that only a custodial sentence could be entertained, but I have had the chance to hear from Mr Lunny and I have had the opportunity to consider the very positive pre-sentence report.
“I don’t feel that because a weapon was used, and because the factual background is so very serious, that I could deal by way of a conditional discharge, but I recognise that this is the first blemish in an otherwise blameless life and it does strike as being out of character.”
Avery was handed a six-month probation order.