A former supermarket employee turned up at the premises in a drunken condition and was asked to leave but he responded by spitting in the face of the member of staff.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said the incident occurred at Dunnes Stores in Bishopstown Court on April 1 2020, during the period of the first Covid-19 restrictions.
Keith O’Flynn of 33 Firgrove Drive, Bishopstown, Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to a charge of assaulting the other man by spitting at him.
The sergeant said the accused was asked to leave the store because he was intoxicated.
Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said the defendant was drunk at the time and did not recall spitting.
“He realises his conduct was out of order,” Mr Buttimer said.
Keith O’Flynn wrote a letter of apology to the injured party which was delivered to him through An Garda Síochána. Sgt. Lyons said the injured party declined to take the letter of apology.
Mr Buttimer said O’Flynn did not even know the member of staff. He said the defendant was going in to the store routinely. He said he was in the course of leaving when there was this exchange between the parties.
“The assault was an unpleasant event, there is no doubt about it,” Mr Buttimer said.
The solicitor said by way of background, “His departure from his employment was not a major issue.”
Judge Olann Kelleher said the 42-year-old was at risk of prison. Instead the judge said he could do 150 hours of community service instead of four months in prison on the assault charge.
He had a previous conviction for the more serious offence of assault causing harm, Sgt. Lyons said.