Four members of a Fife family have been cleared by a jury of assaulting two other women at a New Year party.
Wilma Cunniffe, 50, was on trial accused of repeatedly punching Patricia Donaldson on her head and punching her while holding a key or similar implement, to her severe injury, at the house in Cardenden.
Cunniffe and her daughter Yazmin Cunniffe, 22, and sister-in-law Jennifer Kelly, 38, were also alleged to have acted with another to assault Melissa Donaldson by repeatedly kicking her on her head and body to her injury.
A fourth person, 18-year-old Rachel Kelly had also been accused and stood trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
A jury took just 30 minutes to acquit the three older women of all charges by majority verdicts on Friday after a four-day trial.
The charges against Cunniffe were found not proven and both Yazmin Cunniffe and Jennifer Kelly were found not guilty.
Rachel Kelly had already been cleared by the presiding sheriff at the conclusion of the Crown case.
The trial previously heard Patricia Donaldson’s claim she was hit in the eye with a key, leaving her eyelid “hanging down”.
She needed an operation and stitches following the episode on January 2 2020.
The 66-year-old retired nurse said she was at the house in Cluny Park after her daughter, Melissa, suffered facial injuries apparently inflicted during an attack while leaving the party there earlier.
Cunniffe strenuously denied the assault claims and her brother told the trial Ms Donaldson snr had hit her head on a door during a struggle after she had burst into the house.
He said her head struck the key, breaking it in the lock.
Police ‘not interested’ in key
This was backed on Friday, as his wife Jennifer Kelly gave evidence before the jury retired.
She said: “It was completely accidental and was a freak accident and could have happened to anyone at the door.
“If she had been an inch further to the right it would never have happened.
“I seen it happen.
“I showed the police the lock removed and the key snapped off inside it.
“They were not interested”.
Earlier attack claim
Melissa Donaldson told the trial previously she was kicked on the ground in the garden as she left the party following an argument.
Jennifer Kelly told the trial she asked the 31-year-old to leave and as she turned away, had her hair grabbed by Ms Donaldson jnr, which led to them falling to the ground.
Kelly insisted she pushed her away and strongly denied any claim she and others assaulted her.
Cunniffe said Ms Donaldson grabbed her hair and they both fell over some Christmas decorations and briefly scuffled.
Cunniffe said the allegation she and the two other women kicked her on the ground – stated by Ms Donaldson’s partner – was “fabricated”.
He said thought the younger Cunniffe had been wearing tan boots during the assault but her mother said: “She would never wear a tanned boot.
“It’s not a colour she would ever wear, ever”.
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