Three years for thief who threw beer cans at staff

By Fiona Ferguson

A thief involved in two separate assaults on shop assistants who both left their jobs as a result has been jailed for three years.

Michael Barry (35) hurled shopping baskets and beer cans at one staff member who sustained a fractured arm while attempting to retreat from Barry and his accomplice.

Criminal Courts of Justice 2 09032017

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Two months later Barry was in the process of stealing five coats valued at €1,250 from the Patagonia outlet in Exchequer Street, Dublin when his co-accused pushed over a shop assistant trying to stop them causing her to injure her wrist.

The woman’s colleague confronted the pair as they left and Barry threatened him with a blade.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard both victims have left their jobs as a result of the incidents.

Barry, of Lough Conn Avenue, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to assault of a staff member at Spar, Liffey Street, on December 29, 2017 and assault and theft of five jackets on Exchequer Street on February 16, 2018. He has 37 previous convictions

Judge Melanie Greally noted the “relentless nature of the violence” and the force with which the shopping baskets had been hurled at the shop assistant in the Spar shop.

She said in the second assault in Patagonia, Barry had leant his physical presence to his co-accused who gave the shove to the shop assistant and caused her to fall over.

Judge Greally took into account his efforts to address his drug addiction, his background of addiction and homelessness, as well as his guilty plea and co-operation.

She imposed consecutive sentences totalling four years and suspended the final year on strict conditions.

Keith Spencer BL, defending, said his client had committed the first assault while under the mistaken apprehension that there had been an attack on his pregnant partner.

He said these offences had been committed at the “high-water mark” of Barry’s drug addiction when he was at an “extremely low ebb.”

He outlined Barry had been homeless at the time and poly substance abuse was a feature throughout his life

Mr Spencer said Barry was now a very different person who was doing his best to put some stability into his life and engaging with services available to him.

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