AN ENNISKILLEN man has been convicted of spitting on a 17-year-old girl while she worked at a late night fast-food van.
Michael Curry (42) of Hillview Park contested three charges of common assault at Enniskillen Magistrates Court last week in relation to the incident in the early hours of June 25th.
The teenager, who is now 18, told the court how she’d been working at the Muck Truck in the Diamond at around 2.15am. She said is was busy, and she was putting salt and vinegar on chips when she accidentally splashed some customers who were waiting below the counter.
The girl said she turned around and Curry, who she had only just noticed was at the front of the hatch, began throwing chips at her and calling her names such as “fat slag” and “fat gypsy.” The teenager said she squirted vinegar on him when he refused to stop.
Curry denied insulting the teen and throwing chips at her, which was the basis for the first charge of common assault. Judge John Connolly said there was not enough evidence for this charge and dismissed it.
The second two charges related to claims by the girl that he’d spat on her. She said he first spat in her face while she was in the Muck Truck, causing her to become upset. She said he then spat at her a second time, in her hair, when she was upset outside the fast-food van.
A police officer gave evidence to the court that when he spoke to the girl, who left her job as a result of the incident, outside the van about what had happened he noticed she had spittle in her hair.
Curry denied spitting on the teenager, who is the same age as his daughter. He said on that night he had gone to the Muck Truck for food, and she had come over and squirted vinegar in his face, hitting him in the eye.
The defendant told the court there was “bad blood” between the himself and the teenager’s mother. Both the teen and Curry said they had never spoken to each other, but would know each other to see.
Gary Sloan, a friend of the defendant who was there that night, gave evidence that he’d looked over to the Muck Truck and saw Curry’s head fling back, and he shouted. He said he didn’t see Curry spit on the teen at any point.
District Judge John Connolly said he felt the teenager had been a truthful witness, and had been reliable and credible in her evidence, which he said was backed up by the police evidence.
Judge Connolly convicted Curry, who had no relevant previous convictions, of two counts of common assault. He fined him a total of £1,000, ordering £500 of that be given to the girl as compensation.