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Plasterer threw hot coffee in shop worker's face following Covid mask row

Lusk man Andrew Farrell (40) admitted assaulting the worker at an Applegreen Service Station, M1 northbound in Balbriggan

Andrew Farrell argued about the need for his son to wear a mask

Eimear Cotter

A plasterer threw a cup of hot coffee in the face of a convenience store worker after a row broke out when his son was asked to put on a face mask, a court has heard.

Andrew Farrell (40) left the victim with redness to the face following the attack.

Judge Paul Kelly adjourned sentencing to September to allow Farrell save compensation for the victim, and for gardaí to determine if the injured party wished to make a victim impact statement.

The defendant, of Scholars Walk in Lusk, admitted seriously assaulting a man at Applegreen Service Station, M1 northbound in Balbriggan, on February 25 last year.

Garda Conall Harkin told Swords District Court Farrell and his son, who suffered from asthma, went into the convenience store, and Farrell's son was asked to put on a face mask by deli staff.

Gda Harkin said Farrell got into an argument with one of the workers and he then threw a cup of hot coffee in his face.

Gda Harkin said the victim suffered superficial injuries, specifically redness to the face, and was left shaken. He attended his GP but did not require any medication.

During the incident, Farrell also picked up a milk jug and threw it at deli staff, before driving off from the scene, the garda added.

Defence solicitor John O'Doherty said Farrell called to Balbriggan garda station and apologised to gardaí in the days following this incident.

He said the assault took place during Covid, when "tensions were heightened".

The court heard Farrell's son suffered from asthma, and the defendant reacted badly when his son was asked to put on a face mask.

Mr O'Doherty said Farrell was willing to pay compensation to the victim, and he asked the court to indicate a suitable sum.

Judge Kelly ordered a probation report to see if Farrell was suitable to complete community service. The sum of €2,000 was suggested as a suitable compensation figure.

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