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Man (22) who spat in face of security guard after robbing sweets jailed for six months

Defendant followed and robbed man who witnessed spitting incident in Drogheda Tesco store

The case was heard in Dundalk District Court where the defendant faced charges in relation to incidents in the town.

Drogheda Independent

A man who spat in the face of a shop’s security guard then followed and robbed a man who had witnessed it, has been jailed for six months.

Jason Smyth (22), St Joseph’s Homeless Aid, North Strand, Drogheda, who appeared in the district court via video link, pleaded guilty to robbery, assault and theft charges which arose from the incident in Drogheda on 23 July last.

Evidence was presented that in Tesco, West Street, he placed confectionary under his jacket and when confronted he spat in the face of a female security guard.

Another man who was leaving the store at the time remarked upon this and he was followed by Smyth and three other people.

They acted aggressively towards this man as he walked on West Street. The gang followed him into Shop Street where he ran off in the direction of the Dublin Road, crossing the bridge.

In James Street Smyth pulled the man’s hood over his head and hit him several times. His bag, containing a wallet, €60 cash, bank cards, credit card, driving licence, house keys and a bottle of whiskey, was snatched.

The gang fled in the direction of Marsh Road.

Smyth was subsequently arrested on 28 July.

The court also heard that he set on fire wheelie bins at four different locations in Dundalk on the same day.

The defendant pleaded guilty to damaging by fire two bins at XL Stop ‘N’ Shop, Jocelyn Street; three at Youth Reach, Chapel Street; one in Clanbrassil Street and two bins in Castle Road on 25 May 2021.

He also admitted possession of €6-worth Alprazolam at St Joseph’s Park, Dundalk, on 5 June 2020 and a public order offence which occurred in Barrack Street, Dundalk, on 15 April 2021 when he was aggressive towards staff and patrons of the Simon Community.

When gardaí arrived after receiving a report at 3.30pm, Smyth shouted, ‘F*** off, you won’t catch me’, before being apprehended in Barrack Street.

Details of previous convictions were given. These included assault with intent to cause harm, assault causing harm, arson, damage to property, possession of knives and other articles, theft, and obstruction of a peace officer.

Solicitor Eleanor Kelly said her client had difficulties with alcohol and drugs.

He had been admitted to the Department of Psychiatry in Cross Lanes but didn’t stay.

Judge McKiernan noted the defendant was on a suspended sentence at the time of two of these incidents.

She continued that the robbery was a very serious matter.

A six-month sentence was imposed for that offence. The other charges were taken into consideration.

Legal aid was granted.

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