Punch-up over pet rabbit ends in arrest

PUBLISHED: 12:41 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010

A NEIGHBOURS row over the fate of a pet rabbit led to Sharon Boylan punching a woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Boylan hit Roberta Kish in the face as she accused her of dumping a rabbit over a fence and into her garden. And when police arrived

A NEIGHBOURS' row over the fate of a pet rabbit led to Sharon Boylan punching a woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis.

Boylan hit Roberta Kish in the face as she accused her of dumping a rabbit over a fence and into her garden.

And when police arrived, Boylan assaulted an officer and had to be placed in handcuffs and leg restraints, Ely magistrates heard on Thursday.

Boylan, who had denied assaulting Miss Kish, told the court that she saw her neighbour drop a rabbit into her garden on November 5.

She fed the animal and placed it back into its hutch, and later told the rabbit's owner, Sean Banyard, what had happened.

She and Mr Banyard went to Ms Kish's home at Baker's Corner, Ely, and she accused Miss Kish of moving the animal.

"She was full of rage and anger," Miss Kish told the court. "She hit me on the left eye, pushing me to the ground.

"I am unsteady on my feet because of my multiple sclerosis.

"I had drunk a couple of glasses of wine but I was not drunk or anything."

Sean Banyard's girlfriend Tracie Lee had told him that his rabbit hutch had been taken out of the garden, he said.

But when the hutch was found outside the gate, the rabbit was inside.

When he accompanied Sharon Boylan to Roberta Kish's home, Miss Kish denied touching the rabbit.

"Sharon lunged at Robbie, they both shouted and swore at each other," he said. "A scuffle broke out, and I stepped between them."

Tracie Lee, who was pregnant, came outside during the incident. "I was afraid for my safety," she said.

Boylan, who admitted drinking more than a litre of cider before the incident, claimed that Miss Kish was drunk at the time of the incident.

"She lunged at me and scratched my face," she said. "I did not punch her at all."

Boylan, 41, of Baker's Corner, Ely, was found guilty of assault, but not guilty of using threatening behaviour towards Tracie Lee.

She had earlier admitted assaulting a police officer.

Sentencing was adjourned for four weeks and she was given conditional bail.

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