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'Shout at my girl again and I'll split you' - boss

A MOTOR dealer who held a screwdriver to an employee's throat and threatened to kill him in a blazing row over the value of a car has been fined €1,500 for the assault.

David Griffin (58) was fined and convicted after a court heard he pulled the screwdriver on the worker in his office during a dispute about money.

Victim Declan Fox told how Griffin had first stabbed him in the chest with the screwdriver, puncturing his jacket and striking a mobile phone that was in his breast pocket.

Griffin was found guilty of charges of common assault and producing a weapon in the course of a dispute at his business, Dave Griffin Motors, Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, on November 1, 2008.

Judge Catherine Murphy fined him and fixed recognisances in the event of an appeal.

Dublin District Court heard previously that Mr Fox had a conversation with the accused's daughter that Griffin had taken exception to.

Griffin told Mr Fox: "If you ever shout at my daughter again, I'll split you." Mr Fox denied shouting at Ms Griffin.

The argument between the two men had calmed down when Griffin met Mr Fox afterwards in his office to give him his wages. Griffin told Mr Fox he owed him money and Mr Fox denied this.

"Then he went at me," Mr Fox recalled. "It felt like he gave me a dig in the chest. I was thrown back and then he had me pinned against the table. His leg was holding my legs together and he had his elbow at my neck. That was when I saw the screwdriver. He had it against my throat, he said he was going to kill me".

Someone saw a female customer coming and Griffin "backed off". Afterwards, Mr Fox noticed his jacket had a hole punched in the chest and his mobile phone was dented.

Griffin denied any physical contact with Mr Fox.

As well as denying the assault and having the screwdriver, Griffin said he never made any threats to Mr Fox. He admitted getting into an argument about money with Mr Fox after giving him his wages, but insisted it did not develop into anything physical. "I don't treat workers like that," he said.