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kill threat Man threatened shop worker over chocolate bar before dropping trousers and fleeing with potted plant

Ewan Rice became verbally abusive to the shop assistant, and threatened to shoot him if he called gardaí

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Chocolate bar. Stock image

Chocolate bar. Stock image

Chocolate bar. Stock image

A young man who threatened to shoot a shop assistant if he called the gardaí was battling an addiction to tablets and cocaine at the time, a court heard.

Ewan Rice (24) also partially dropped his trousers and exposed his backside to the shop worker, before making off with a potted plant.

The threats took place after the two men exchanged words over a bar of chocolate Rice had picked up but not paid for.

Judge Dermot Dempsey adjourned sentencing to June to see if Rice was suitable to complete 240 hours community service in lieu of two months in prison.

The defendant, of Lavin Park, Tullyallen, Co Louth, admitted making threats to kill or cause serious harm and stealing a potted plant, worth €13, at Centra, Main Street in Swords on October 30, 2018.

Sergeant Patricia McGarrity told Swords District Court the victim and a female colleague were in Centra at 9.26pm when Rice picked up a bottle of vodka and paid for it.

Sgt McGarrity said the defendant then picked up a bar of chocolate, and the injured party spoke to him about it.

Rice became verbally abusive to the shop assistant, and threatened to shoot him if he called gardaí. He repeated this threat two or three times.

Sgt McGarrity said Rice then went behind the counter where the injured party was standing near the till.

The injured party pleaded with Rice to leave, saying he would not call gardaí.

Rice shook the man's hand, before he threw a packet of chewing gum at him and struck his chest.

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Sgt McGarrity said Rice picked up a potted plant as he left the shop.

The owner was watching CCTV remotely and saw what happened, the court heard. He rang the shop and told the staff to shut the door.

Sgt McGarrity said Rice returned to the shop ten minutes later and tried to return the potted plant, which he left at the front door.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said that Rice had no recollection of this incident, and was surprised he had behaved in such a way.

Ms D'Arcy said Rice was battling an addiction to pills and cocaine at the time, but had gotten clean of drugs, and was now working in a newsagents.

This incident took place four years ago and Rice was now a "completely different man", she added.

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