A plasterer threw hot coffee in the face of a store worker after the row of Covid masks

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

Andrew Farrell (40) left the victim flushed in the face from the attack.

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

The accused, from Scholars Walk in Lusk, admitted to seriously assaulting a man at Applegreen petrol station, M1 northbound in Balbriggan on February 25 last year.

Garda Conall Harkin told Swords District Court that Farrell and his son, who had asthma, walked into the convenience store and Farrell’s son was asked to put on a face mask by deli staff.

Gda Harkin said Farrell argued with one of the workers and then threw a hot cup of coffee in his face.

Gda Harkin said the victim suffered superficial injuries, including facial flushing, and was shaken. He consulted his GP but did not need any medication.

During the incident, Farrell also picked up a milk jug and threw it at the deli staff, before leaving the premises, the garda added.

Defense attorney John O’Doherty said Farrell called the Balbriggan guard station and apologized to the guard within days of the incident.

He said the assault took place during Covid, when “tensions escalated”.

The court heard that 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 an appropriate sum.

Judge Kelly ordered a probation report to see if Farrell was fit to perform community service. The sum of €2,000 has been suggested as an appropriate amount of compensation.

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