herald

Thursday 24 August 2017

Customer in shop row threatened to 'get his mates'

Martin Gallagher had gone to shop to buy a SIM card
Martin Gallagher had gone to shop to buy a SIM card

A customer at a mobile phone store was arrested after he had a dispute with staff and threatened that he was "going to get his mates".

Martin Gallagher (33) had gone to get a SIM card with his girlfriend and children when he became abusive towards the shop workers.

He also tried to throw an item from the shopping centre at investigating gardai as he was led out into the car park.

Judge David McHugh fined him €80 when he appeared in court on a public order charge.

The judge said this was not the way 99.9pc of people would react when they had a customer service issue.

Gallagher, of Chaplain's Terrace, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour with intent to cause a breach of the peace.

Blanchardstown District Court heard the incident happened at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Clondalkin on April 24.

Gallagher had been in the Three Store and was asked to leave after he became abusive to staff, Gda Sgt Maria Callaghan said.

He did leave, but he returned and said he was "going to get his mates".

Convictions

When gardai arrived he calmed down, but then, as he was being escorted from the shopping centre, he began shouting in the car park.

He picked up an item and attempted to throw it at the gardai, Sgt Callaghan continued.

Gallagher was arrested and taken to Ronanstown Garda Station, where he was charged.

The court heard he had previous convictions for drink- driving and casual trading dating back to 2007.

He had been given a four-year driving ban for the drink-driving offence.

On the day of the mobile phone shop incident, he was trying to buy a SIM card and was not getting what he wanted, his lawyer said.

Things "got heated", and he apologised for what happened.

Gallagher's lawyer asked the judge to be as lenient as he could.

Judge McHugh said "99.9pc of people who have a difficulty with customer service" would have handled matters differently.

The accused, who was in receipt of social welfare, was granted free legal aid.

He did not address the court during the hearing.

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