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No jail for couple who threatened shop workers with hammer and racially abused them

They told staff they would kill them and insulted them with racial slurs.

Bryan Mulligan and Sarah Treacy outside court

Andrew PhelanSunday World

A couple who threatened shop workers with a hammer and used racial slurs against them have been spared jail.

Bryan Mulligan (35) and Sarah Treacy (30) believed they were “unfairly targeted” as suspected shoplifters when they took out the hammer from a bag of tools they were going to use to fix up their flat.

Judge Bryan Smyth suspended sentences of six months for Mulligan and three months for Treacy.

Mulligan of Glasmore Park and Treacy from Mooretown Avenue, both in Swords pleaded guilty to producing the hammer as a weapon in the course of a dispute.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Spar, Liffey Street on October 12, 2019.

Both accused had been in the shop, left and came back with a hammer. They told staff they would kill them and insulted them with racial slurs.

Defence solicitor Tony Collier said the accused had been homeless before getting a new flat at the time. They had picked up DIY items to do some work in the flat and on their way home, they called into the shop to “buy some messages," Mr Collier said.

There was a dispute between Mulligan and staff where he was accused of “doing something he didn’t do,” and he didn’t handle matters well, Mr Collier said.

Mulligan would say shop assistants made offensive remarks to him and he “returned them in kind.”

Mulligan and Treacy felt they were being “unfairly surveilled” and “matters progressed from there,” Mr Collier said.

The hammer was waved around in a “protesting manner” but not with any intent to strike anyone.

“The hammer shouldn’t have been produced from the bag but it was produced in a manner that wasn’t going to cause any injury,” the solicitor continued.

“They felt they were outnumbered,” and it was a case of bad behaviour rather than anything dangerous, he added.

The couple now had a young child.

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