A NEWCASTLE West man, who claimed he was wrongly accused of taking something from the local Aldi store, was convicted of Public Order offences at The Demesne, Newcastle West last April 18.
Before the court was Robert Heffernan, 93 Temple Green, Newcastle West who was charged with threatening or abusive words or behaviour and with failure to comply with the direction of a garda on that date.
Shortly before 4pm on April 18, Garda Tommy Commane told the court, gardai were called to the Aldi store when they met management, staff and three males.
There was a situation going on, the garda said, and Mr Heffernan was asked to leave.
There was quite a large number of shoppers about and Mr Heffernan was asked to desist from his behaviour. “He said, F*** off Tommy. Leave it out. It is my right to go where I want.”
Mr Heffernan then stood on the road and complained of police brutality, the garda said.
Pleading for his client, who has 23 previous convictions, solicitor Enda O’Connor said “his record in the past has been quite appalling”.
“He says he was wrongly accused of taking something from the shop and he was very upset,” Mr O’Connor said.
“You are always going to believe the gardai,” Mr Heffernan said from the body of the court. But he said they were “corrupt”.
“Would you stop it. Stop rabbiting on,” Judge Mary Larkin said, adding that she “wouldn’t be in this job” if the gardai were corrupt.
Mr O’Connor outlined his client’s problems pointing out he was currently residing in Peter McVerry Trust accommodation.
“I have a lot of qualifications,” Mr Heffernan interrupted. “There are two sides to every story.”
“You should do your best to stay out of trouble. You are the father of two children,” Judge Larkin said.
She fined the accused €200 on the charge of threatening and abusive behaviour and placed him on probation for one year for failing to comply with garda direction.