Sunday 21 December 2014

Accused sprayed petrol and threw lit paper at pregnant shop worker, court is told

Published 12/01/2013 | 05:00

AN addict accused of spraying petrol in the face of a pregnant pharmacy worker before throwing lit toilet tissue at her told gardai: "She deserved it", a court heard.

Alan Foley (33) was remanded in custody after Cork District Court heard that he also told officers he intended to try to burn other pharmacies in the city.

Mr Foley, of no fixed abode, appeared before Judge Leo Malone charged with assault causing harm to the 35-year-old woman who is seven months pregnant.

The incident occurred at the Doc Morris pharmacy at the Grand Parade, Cork, at 12.30pm on Thursday.

Gardai outlined details of the charges in applying for Mr Foley to be remanded in custody.

Judge Malone was told that Mr Foley, who has a serious heroin problem, entered the pharmacy and asked for syringes.

These were given to him but he immediately became embroiled in a row with another man in the shop.

When a female assistant went over to ask both men to leave, Mr Foley is alleged to have produced a plastic milk container filled with petrol.

"(He) threw it in her face," Garda Mark Harrington said.

The defendant is then alleged to have lit pieces of toilet tissue and thrown these at the terrified woman who is heavily pregnant, before leaving the shop.

Gda Harrington said that after Mr Foley was arrested, cautioned and charged he told arresting officers: "She deserved it."

The woman did not attend yesterday's brief court hearing.

Gardai said the entire incident was captured on CCTV security camera footage.

Mr Foley was arrested at 3.40pm on Thursday after he had returned to the same city centre area.

Burn

The court heard that Mr Foley told gardai that he intended to burn other pharmacies which were supplying needles in the city.

"He is a heroin addict. The safety of the public is at risk because he has said he will find other pharmacies that give out syringes and he will burn them," Gda Harrington said.

"There is also the possibility he will interfere with witnesses and that he will attempt to intimidate the injured party."

Gardai applied for Mr Foley to be remanded in custody.

Judge Malone granted Mr Foley free legal aid with Eddie Burke being appointed as counsel. He remanded him in custody to appear before Cork District Court on January 17.

Judge Malone recommended that Mr Foley be assessed while in custody by the psychiatric services. The court was told that gardai were awaiting instructions from the DPP in relation to where the case should be dealt with.

Irish Independent

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