Man assaulted security staff after caught shoplifting

Enniskillen Court House, RMGFH04

Enniskillen Court House, RMGFH04

AN ENNISKILLEN man who assaulted two security guards who stopped him for shoplifting has been given a suspended sentence. 
David Elliott (35) of Coolcullen Meadow appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday charged with two counts of common assault and one count of theft after the incident at Asda in the town on July 1. 
Elliott had been seen trying to take security tags off CDs in the store and putting the items, worth £49, in his pocket. He was stopped by security staff and brought to a holding room in Asda where he was kept until police could arrive. 
Upon learning police were on their way, Elliott became aggressive, head-butting one of the security staff and punching another in the mouth, causing his lip to bleed. 
Defence solicitor Garry Smyth said a pre-sentence report before the court outlined circumstances in Elliott’s life at the time of the offence, when he was under a lot of pressure. Mr Smyth explained Elliott had gone into the shop to buy other items when he saw the CDs, which were fit for resale after they were recovered. 
The solicitor added that, while it was “no excuse” for what had happened, Elliott had stated one of the security staff had made an inappropriate comment towards him, which caused him to react. Mr Smyth said Elliott was now remorseful for what had happened and realised it was unacceptable.
Mr Smyth said Elliott had previous convictions, however he had not offended for nine years and the incident could be viewed as isolated. He said the defendant was also now in a steady relationship and planned to marry. He asked for credit for Elliott’s early guilty plea.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said it had been “a disgraceful assault on two security guards just doing their job”, and “no matter what had happened it’s not an excuse.” He sentenced Elliott to four months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to pay £150 to each of the security guards. 
“You’ve been given a chance today, make sure you take it or you will be going to prison,” Judge Broderick told Elliott. 

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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