A DUBLIN man has avoided jail after punching a pregnant shop manageress, who went on to lose her baby a week later.
Peter Sheridan (38) was put on a probation bond by Judge Michael Walsh after being found guilty of the assault.
A court heard there was no evidence of the attack having caused any injury, but the manageress said she believed the accused was "the reason she lost her baby".
The woman wept as she gave evidence against him at Dublin District Court.
Sheridan punched her and knocked her to the ground when she stopped him for allegedly snatching rings and necklaces in the south city centre shop.
Sheridan, of Simon Community, Sean McDermott Street, denied common assault and theft on November 11, 2012.
Sheridan said he accidentally fell against the victim in the shop because he has Parkinson's disease.
The court heard Sheridan walked in and the victim offered her assistance. He walked up to a case of rings and grabbed "handfuls" of them, she alleged.
Sheridan put them into a rucksack, then grabbed a handful of necklaces.
"I said, 'Excuse me, can I help you?'," she said.
"He punched me in the chest, I fell to the ground and he walked out."
A passing taxi driver caught hold of Sheridan, but the accused threw himself to the ground, pulled his pants down, put the rings in his mouth, then spat them out.
"I was pregnant at the time and a week later I lost the baby," she said. "That man attacked me. That man is the reason I lost my baby."
She said he had deliberately assaulted her and that he was not as disabled as he made out.
Judge Walsh said he had no doubt the accused had assaulted the victim, describing the accused's version of events as "simply incredible".