Lochside Garage

Shopkeeper hit by man with fake £50 note

AN EDERNEY shopkeeper was assaulted by a man who spent a fake £50 in his shop, after he followed him in a bid to prevent other shop owners falling victim to the counterfeit notes. 
Jamie McDonagh (21) of Fairmount Avenue, Omagh appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to charges tendering counterfeit currency, common assault, careless driving, and failing to remain and failing to report a damage only accident. 
On October 18th last year McDonagh went in to the Today Express shop in Ederney and bought some low value items totalling less than £3. He used a £50 note to pay for them. The shopkeeper was suspicious of the note but could not verify it was fake, so he gave McDonagh his correct change.
When McDonagh left the shop the shopkeeper got a pen to check the note and confirmed it was fake. He went outside and saw the defendant getting into a van and heading off in the direction of Kesh. 
As he was worried about other shopkeepers inadvertently accepting a fake notes, the shopkeeper followed the van to Kesh. When he arrived he approached McDonagh and confronted him in his van. McDonagh then hit the man in the chest before driving off.
As he was driving off the van collided with the shopkeeper’s car, breaking its wing mirror and causing £132 of damage. 
In interview McDonagh admitted being in the shop, but said he didn’t know the note was counterfeit. He denied assaulting the shopkeeper, stating he punched him away as he was worried about what was happening. He also said he didn’t collide with his car, and would have remained at the scene if he had. 
Defence solicitor Clive Neville said McDonagh, who had no previous convictions, had been given the note in a transaction and unfortunately had then used it in the shop. 
District Judge Michael Ranaghan said sentenced McDonagh to a total of three months in prison, suspended for 18 months, fined him £225, endorsed seven penalty points on his licence, and ordered him to pay £150 compensation to the shopkeeper. 


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