28 May 2022

Judge slams Longford man as ‘utter disgrace’ after pharmacy row

Judge slams Longford man as ‘utter disgrace’ after pharmacy row

A judge has branded a father of three an “utter disgrace” after becoming embroiled in a brawl with another man inside a Longford pharmacy in full view of startled shoppers.

Patrick Joyce (26), 7 St Anthony’s Grove, Clarecastle, Ennis, Co Clare, punched his alleged victim as he sat in a car outside College Medical Centre, Ballinalee Road, Longford shortly before 4pm on September 1, 2020.

Sgt Mark Mahon, for the State, said an altercation between both men quickly ensued with the pair seen exchanging blows outside the pharmacy along one of the busiest roads in Longford town.

As the pair continued to wrestle, the scuffle continued inside the pharmacy and behind the counter of the store as staff and customers watched on.

Solicitor for Mr Joyce, John Quinn, said his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity with the case being adjourned at a previous juncture to allow for the preparation of a victim impact statement.

He said Mr Joyce was fully cognisant of his actions, revealing there had been a “spleen between the parties” which sparked the row.

“It started outside the chemist and unfortunately developed inside,” he said.

“It shouldn’t have happened and he (Mr Joyce) will undertake to ensure there will be no recurrence.”

Judge Marie Keane quizzed Mr Joyce as to why he had travelled and thought it was acceptable to engage in such violent behaviour in the middle of the day.

The accused, who stood with his hands clasped at the rear of the courtroom, said he had been in Longford that day as his children were attending a local doctor’s.

He said his alleged victim had parked up outside the pharmacy and began shouting abuse.

“I walked away and he provoked me into it,” he said.

Asked how the two men continued their set-to inside the store, Mr Joyce said he could offer the court no rational explanation.

“They were in the grips of each other and it went on for some period of time,” said Mr Quinn.

Judge Keane said the incident was made more reprehensible in that it came at a time when the country was in the throes of Covid-19.

She said Mr Joyce’s apology was one which fell well short in remedying the unsightly actions which were foisted upon innocent bystanders on the day in question.

“That (apology) doesn’t cut the mustard for the staff of the pharmacy,” she said.

“You are an utter disgrace. I am not one bit impressed by the manner in which you met the case.”

She subsequently sentenced Mr Joyce to three months in prison, suspending the term for a period of two years.

Two further charges for public order and trespassing on a building were taken into consideration.

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