Sunday 28 December 2014

Teen trashed shop over a scratch card

Andrew Phelan

Published 24/04/2014 | 12:22

Donal Murray caused €240 of damage in the shop
Donal Murray caused €240 of damage in the shop

A STUDENT trashed a newsagent's and spat in the shop assistant's face after he was unable to cash a winning scratch card to get money for a taxi home, a court heard.

Donal Murray (19) assaulted the employee and left the shop in disarray when his behaviour “spiralled out of control”.

Judge William Early adjourned the case against him at Dublin District Court for payment of compensation for the damage he caused.

He said he would consider leaving him without a criminal record.

Murray, with an address at Willow Park Close, Glasnevin, pleaded guilty to assault, criminal damage and breach of the peace at Coleman's newsagent, Westmoreland Street on December 15 last year.

The court heard the accused went to the shop at 3.30am, approached the counter and asked to cash-in a winning scratch card. The staff member told him the machine was locked and he would have to either return the next day or go to another outlet.

Murray became abusive and spat in the staff member's face. The shop assistant tried to apprehend him and Murray knocked over merchandise, pushing the staff member into a card stand.

The struggle continued and he knocked over more stands until the shop was “quite messed up”, a garda said.

The total cost of the damage was €240 and a number of people were present in the shop at the time. Murray was calm and co-operative when the gardai arrived. He had no previous convictions.

The accused had been out drinking on the night in the run up to Christmas, his solicitor Joe McNally said.

He had not intentionally spat in the shop worker's face and it was more that he was drunk and was slurring his speech, Mr McNally said.

Mr McNally said Murray also “did not hit the man as such” and it was more of a struggle. He had come to his senses during the incident, stopped what he was doing and waited for the gardai to arrive.

Judge William Early adjourned the case to June 18 for the defendant to pay compensation.

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