Man threatened Limerick lollipop lady with her own stick

Incident happened outside Scoil Mhathair Dé on South Circular Road

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Man threatened Limerick lollipop lady with her own stick

The crossing on South Circular Road

A MAN who threatened a lollipop lady has been told that he will avoid a criminal conviction if he makes a contribution to charity.

Nelson Grandi, 46, of Cois Ghruda, Castletroy, was collecting his son from school in the city, when school warden Sharon Fitzgerald took issue with his parking.

The incident took place at the road crossing outside Scoil Mhathair Dé on South Circular Road, on September 19, 2015.

Ms Fitzgerald told the court that Mr Grandi was causing an obstruction to children crossing the road, by parking on the hatched markings. After she asked Mr Grandi to move his vehicle, he became verbally abusive and said “I will beat that lollipop stick off you”, the District Court was told last Thursday.

Inspector Dermot O’Connor asked Ms Fitzgerald a number of times to elaborate on her experience, which occurred at around 2.45pm.

“He eventually moved away but he said to me that he would come back and deal with me and my lollipop stick.

“He called me a lot of names. He did the Hitler sign to me and called me a fat bitch. He said that I was the Hitler lady,” she claimed, adding that she contacted Henry Street garda station after the incident.

Defending solicitor Sarah Ryan asked the school warden if there had been “bad feeling” before the incident. She replied: “Yes”, adding that the poor relationship began when the defendant started “doing the Hitler sign” to her.

However, Ms Ryan said that this wasn’t in Ms Fitzgerald’s original statement, and that she “misinterpreted” something Mr Grandi had said to her.

Gda Michael Hennessy, who met Ms Fitzgerald, told the court that Mr Grandi denied the allegations, on the following day. Gda Hennessy said that Mr Grandi was attempting to do parallel parking when he was approached by the school warden. He told the judge that he hadn’t seen the woman since the incident.

Mr Grandi, who has no previous convictions, presented the court with a photo on his phone, showing where he had intended to park on the day of the incident.

He said that he turned on his indicator and turned left into a suitable parking space. However, he said that he did not have enough space to reverse because of a car behind him.

He told the court that when he was trying to reverse, he heard the witness say to the driver of the vehicle behind him: “Let him crash into you, because I will be the witness.”

He said that the witness did not ask him to move his car.

He denied shouting obscenities and threatening to beat the woman with her lollipop stick, and said that he would not have obstructed children from crossing the road.

The court heard that Mr Grandi suggested to Gda Hennessy if he drops his son at the school via a different entrance, and has since been using that drop-off point, following altercations at the school.

Judge Marian O’Leary said that Mr Grandi will avoid a criminal conviction if he pays €200 to the poor box by July 26.