20 July 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

WOMEN who refuse to give evidence in domestic assault cases were sharply criticised by Judge Sean MacBride at Monaghan District Court on Monday, who said he was “sick to the teeth” of the waste of garda time and the court’s time in dealing with charges that were then being withdrawn.
Commenting during a number of such cases that came before the court, the judge advised that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) be asked to consider prosecuting such complainants for wasting garda resources. He told Inspector Pat McMorrow that this was not the fault of the gardai, who where showing great patience, but that something should be done to call a halt to these cases, where people were “falling into love again” and giving “mealy-mouth excuses” to the court.
The judge firstly made his views clear while hearing of an assault charge against 39-year-old Robert Buz, of 1 Dr McKenna Terrace, Monaghan. The defendant had been charged with assaulting his partner, Kinga Smuzna (22) at that address on 17th June last.
But Ms Smuzna told the court that she wished to withdraw her complaint, despite having made a statement to the gardai alleging that her partner had struck her. She said they had a row over a game on the television.
Judge MacBride told the witness he was getting tired of these cases. He asked her if she thought that every time she had a row with her partner she could just lift the phone and “waste garda resources” by getting them to call to her house.
The gardai had more to do with their time, the judge added.
At that point he asked Ms Smuzna if she was chewing gum, and ordered her to go outside and remove it when it was confirmed that she was.
On her return to the stand in the afternoon, Ms Smuzna apologised for chewing gum while giving her evidence.
Replying to Insp McMorrow, she accepted that she called the gardai alleging that her partner assaulted her. She now wished to apologise for everything, and stated that she would like to withdraw this case.
Mr Buz did not strike her; they “just had a row, Ms Smuzna said. She accepted, however, that in her statement to the gardai she alleged that he had indeed hit her.
Dismissing the charge against Mr Buz for want of prosecution, Judge MacBride said the DPP should be informed why the matter had collapsed.

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