Civil servant threatened to take the head off waiter, court told
Posted on 24th September 2019 at 22:12
‘Arrogant’ man also sent nasty letter threatening legal action against restaurant a day after altercation
A civil servant told a young waiter he “would take the head off him” during an altercation in a restaurant last year, a court has heard.
Martin Mulhearn (61), of Rosearl, The Glebe, Donegal town also “shoved Gary Breslin up against the bar of Kitty Kelly’s restaurant” in Killybegs, after “roaring at a young waitress” on Easter Sunday April 1st last year, the District court in Donegal town was told.
The “angry, truculent, stubborn man” also sent a “nasty letter” threatening “legal action” against the restaurant a day after the altercation, Judge Kevin Kilrane observed after hearing evidence in the case earlier this week.
In the letter, which judge Kilrane described as “aggressive and insulting” the defendant told the owner of the restaurant that her waiter should “keep his mouth shut and engage his brain instead”.
The defendant admitted telling the waiter he would take the head off him, but this was only because the waiter approached him in a “threatening and intimidating fashion”.
The letter added that only that the defendant’s wife was present, the waiter would not have got away with his alleged actions.
In finding the defendant guilty of using threatening and abusive behaviour and assaulting Gary Breslin, the judge said this was a “shocking episode in a public place” and there was “no remorse”.
In a statement read in court, Mr Breslin said he was asked to deal with a situation where waitress Chloe O’Keeney was upset after the defendant shouted and was rude to her.
The defendant told the witness he would take the head off him. He then threw €50 across the bar when the total bill was €64 or €65 and left.
Ms O’Keeney said the defendant was shouting at her, was rude and grabbed the menus off her after he shouted for them to be brought over.
She was in shock, and told Mr Breslin, who was “acting manager”, what happened, who said he would “sort it out”.
The witness said she went behind the bar and heard the defendant’s wife shouting at him to stop.
He then left and his wife followed him.
The defendant told the court he had booked a meal with his wife and “not very much happened”, he was trying to get the attention of the “wee girl”.
He said he had waved at her and maybe he had raised his voice to get her attention, which he did.
He said he could not understand why she took offence.
The defendant said Mr Breslin was “marching over towards us in an aggressive manner”.
“He was stuck in my face and demanding to know why you were shouting at my staff, who do you think are?”.
The defendant said he felt threatened, got up and went to the middle of the floor so “I could defend myself, that is how aggressive he was”.
“I did tell him that if he did not take his head out of my face that I would take the head off him.
“That ended it”.
He added that he was aggrieved and put his hands on the counter, took out €50 and left the bar.
Judge Kilrane said Mr Breslin came across as a civilized young man who was checking out a complaint from a colleague who said she was shouted at in an unacceptable manner. The judge said he was satisfied this was the case.
He added that the defendant was someone who came across as a person who does not take no for an answer. The defendant was truculent, difficult and stubborn and “not in a good mood”.
The judge said his shouting at the waitress was “unacceptable”.
“I will take your head off, imagine saying that in front of your wife,”?
Defending solicitor Rory O’Brien said his client was a 61-year-old civil servant who had never been in trouble and his wife was not in court due to ill health.
Judge Kilrane said the defendant should contain his ill temper and arrogance. “We all can have a bad day, but it was followed up the next day with an insulting and horrible letter”.
The judge said however all charges would be struck out on payment of €1,000 to the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. Some €500 was produced in court and the case was adjourned to October 2nd for the payment of the balance.
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