| 14.2°C Dublin

moment of madness Former Garda clerical worker spat on female shop security guard and threatened to 'crack' her head

Medupe said the guard made a 'racial slur' against him and he overreacted

Close

John Medupe (51) of Killarney Parade, Phibsborough, Dublin pictured leaving the Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street in Dublin after he appeared before the Dublin District Court. Pic: Paddy Cummins/IrishPhotoDesk.ie

John Medupe (51) of Killarney Parade, Phibsborough, Dublin pictured leaving the Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street in Dublin after he appeared before the Dublin District Court. Pic: Paddy Cummins/IrishPhotoDesk.ie

John Medupe (51) of Killarney Parade, Phibsborough, Dublin pictured leaving the Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street in Dublin after he appeared before the Dublin District Court. Pic: Paddy Cummins/IrishPhotoDesk.ie

A former garda clerical worker has been spared a criminal record for spitting on a shop security woman and threatening to “crack her head open and enjoy every minute of it.”

John Medupe (51) assaulted the shop worker by spitting on her when she challenged him for skipping the queue at a Dublin city centre store.

He claimed the victim made a racial slur against him and he “over-reacted,” in an attack four months into the Covid 19 pandemic.

Judge Bryan Smyth applied the Probation Act, leaving him without recorded convictions.

Medupe, of Killarney Parade, Phibsboro, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the shop worker and threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour.

The offences happened at Marks & Spencer, Jervis Shopping Centre and Henry Street on July 2 last year.

The case was heard earlier this year and came back before Dublin District Court for a restorative justice report.

Reading this, Judge Smyth remarked that it “wasn’t a very pleasant experience for the employee.”

Defence solicitor Eoghan O’Sullivan agreed it was “not very pleasant at all” and Medupe was “very much ashamed and embarrassed by his actions.” He had shown a “high level of engagement” with restorative justice.

The last few months had been a difficult period with the case hanging over him and he was trying to get work in the civil service.

Medupe had no previous convictions.

The judge dismissed the charges under the Probation Act.

Previously, the court heard the accused went to the shop on the day and passed a queue. The security woman spoke to him about this, and he replied “f**k you.”

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

He then tried to come in through another section and the victim stopped him and told him he could not enter.

Medupe became verbally abusive to her and spat on her, the court heard. It landed on her chin, shirt and tie and she was “very distressed” and was afraid she could catch Covid-19.

Medupe also said to the woman: “If you keep following me, I’m going to crack your head open and enjoy every minute of it.”

The accused had told the court “I felt that there had been a racial slur said to me, I acted irrationally and completely out of character. It was incredibly irrational, disgusting, it was a moment of madness.”

Medupe was not in any way trying to blame the victim, but just trying to “contextualise the reaction," his defence said.

Compensation was paid previously.

The accused moved from South Africa to Ireland for “a better life” in 2013, and did further education in computers, business, financial services and customer support. He had started a law degree but could not afford to complete it, the court heard.

He had worked in several jobs, then as a clerical officer in the public sector since 2019, including the office of the Data Protection Officer.

Judge Smyth had said the fact that the spit happened during the pandemic was an aggravating factor.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy