A 34-year-old man who urinated on the shelves in Tesco in Lurgan was given suspended prison sentences last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.
Richard Chestnut, whose address was given as St John’s Terrace, Moira, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, the theft of a bottle of wine and common assault on October 22 last year.
The court heard that at 7.20pm police were called to Tesco in Millennium Way after a report of a security guard having been assaulted.
When Chestnut entered the store he was unsteady on his feet and on CCTV he was seen to urinate on shelves before lifting a bottle of wine and a bottle of coke.
As he tried to leave he was restrained by the security guard who removed the bottle of wine from him.
The defendant then shouted: “You shower of f—king b—ds. Do you know who I am? I’m Richard Chestnut and I know who you are.”
He struck the security guard on the right eye.
Defence barrister Seamus Lannon said his client was short of funds but had £50 with him in court, although he had indicated to him that his might not ‘cut the mustard’.
District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said Chestnut had been aware of this since November and if someone turned up at court with the money in their pocket this was a demonstrable sign of remorse.
Mr Lannon said that in the pre-sentence report his client did present himself as remorseful.
He added that Chestnut had found a job involving double glazing and would be prepared to repay the money.
Judge Kelly said the defendant was urinating on shelves in Tesco at seven in the evening when children, parents and grandparents could have been present.
“It was a reprehensible act,” she added.
The judge said there was CCTV coverage and Chestnut says ‘do you know who I am’ because of the amount of alcohol he had he had a lapse of memory and didn’t know who he was.
Mr Lannon said the defendant accepted he ‘behaved irresponsibility’ but was attempting to draw a line under this and make good to society.
“I doubt that, not with his record and his attitude,” said Judge Kelly.
She added Chestnut could not distinguish between a toilet and a set of shelves.
“There could have been some wee cratur lifting what they needed and he didn’t care. He was completely oblivious. You don’t go to a supermarket to watch other people use it as a toilet. You would expect most children to be potty trained by the age of two,” said the judge.
She then gave the defendant the chance to come up with the money before the end of the court.
Later Mr Lannon returned with the full restitution of £276.55.
For each of the offences Chestnut was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years.
Describing his behaviour as ‘absolutely disgraceful’ Judge Kelly warned the defendant if she ever saw him again for anything similar he was going to prison.
At the same court Chestnut also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance on August 29 last year on the Lake Road in Craigavon.
For this offence he was given three months in custody, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for 12 months.
Judge Kelly also ordered forfeiture of the car he was driving.