herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Woman abused takeaway staff after bad health news

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

A takeaway customer who hurled insults at staff claimed her outburst came just after she received news that she could be seriously ill.

Karen O'Rourke (36), who has battled addiction, "acted in a way she never did before", barrister Patrick Jackson told Swords District Court.

He added that shortly before his client began creating trouble in the takeaway, calling the staff members insulting names, she had been informed that she might have a serious medical condition.

Sgt Terri Ferguson gave evidence that gardai received a call to go to Townyard Lane in Malahide.

The defendant was inside a takeaway causing hassle to staff members for "no valid reason".

Officers were forced to remove her from the premises after she started shouting insults.

She was directed to leave the area but she failed to do so, the court was told.

Letters

O'Rourke, of The Paddocks, Carlton Court, Swords, pleaded guilty to threatening and abusive behaviour and failing to comply with directions of gardai on March 21. She had no previous convictions.

Mr Jackson handed in two letters from the defendant's doctor.

He told the court that following a medical examination, it appeared that O'Rourke "may have a serious condition".

"She has battled addiction and the only person she has damaged is herself," he said.

"When she got the news, she acted in a way she never did before."

He said unmarried O'Rourke, who works part-time, was now seeing medical professionals.

"She has written a letter of apology to the gardai, but she is not sure it made its way to them," he said, adding that the defendant had €100 with her if the court saw fit to proceed by way of a charitable donation.

Judge Dermot Dempsey fined O'Rourke €200 for failing to comply with the directions of gardai. He took the offence of threatening and abusive behaviour into consideration.

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