A father of eight who was before Athy District Court for assault and the theft of six dog collars was given a three-month prison sentence on Tuesday, January 28.
Edward O'Reilly, with an address listed as 2 St Mary's Cross, Hebron Halting Site, Kilkenny, came to the attention of gardai on July 25, 2018 at 11.20am at Mr Price in Athy.
The court heard that the defendant, who is in prison on another matter, placed a number of items under his clothes and left the shop without paying.
He then tried to take some empty pallets from outside the shop without permission and the court heard he called a staff member a “faggot” when told to stop.
The court heard that the defendant also became verbally aggressive to the staff members. He has 19 previous convictions. Sgt Brian Jacob said the defendant was quite intimidating towards the staff but didn’t lay a finger on anyone.
The defendant is 42 and has eight children with one on the way. The court heard he is hoping to better himself while in prison and is attending woodwork and metalwork classes. Ms Murphy said a derogatory remark had been made about the defendant’s children and he “jumped the gun”.
She said that two of his children were with him and went to buy sweets and a staff member a refused to serve them. Judge Zaidan then read a letter out in court that the employee told the defendant to get the children out of the shop and called them "knackers".
Sgt Jacob said that he was unaware the remark had been made. The defendant was very annoyed by the comment and when he went out to the car he spat on the ground and not at the staff member. He apologised to the court. Judge Desmond Zaidan said the word "knacker" should not be used to describe anyone, nor should "faggot".
“Two wrongs don't make a right,” he said. “I'll impose three months to run in line with his release date on April 24.”