Drank two bottles of vodka and punched shop assistant

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

A man who assaulted a sales assistant in a department store has been jailed for two months.

Patrick Harkin, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to one charge of common assault on March 1.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the 51-year-old was acting suspiciously in Debenhams. A sales assistant approached Harkin and asked what he was doing.

The court was told Harkin replied that he was ‘going to steal anything’. He then walked off and when the sales assistant followed him he was punched in the ribs.

During police interview, the 51-year-old claimed he couldn’t remember anything because he had consumed two large bottles of vodka.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client has a long standing problem with alcohol and could not be interviewed by police after the incident for 24 hours.

He added Harkin has an ‘extremely significant record’ and accepts that the only issue is whether custody is immediate.