Keep up with Armagh i

Man ’caused havoc’ in Armagh pharmacy before punching store manager to face

"This is a man who is out doing a day's work, running a pharmacy, and he's assaulted in his course of work providing a very valuable service to the public."

An Armagh man who punched a pharmacist to the face so hard it damaged his tooth has been handed a five month prison sentence.

Jamie Starkey, who now has an address of Dungormley Estate in Newtownhamilton, appeared before Armagh Magistrates’ Court – via videolink from Maghaberry – on Tuesday charged with common assault, disorderly behaviour, criminal damage, assault on police and resisting police.

A prosecution solicitor told the court that on Friday, May 26 at 3.55pm, police received a report of an intoxicated male in McKeevers Chemists in Dobbin Street in Armagh.

The man, who was identified as Starkey, became aggressive and was asked to leave the premises. Upon police arrival they observed a male being restrained outside the shop by staff members.

Police handcuffed him and kicked out at an officer before leg restraints were applied. He then started shouting at police in clear view of members of the public.

Other officers spoke to the store manager who stated that the defendant had come into the store and was falling into display stands resulting in a pair of sunglasses, valued at £16, being damaged.

He said that when he requested the defendant to leave the store he was struck on the right hand side of the face. The incident was captured on CCTV.

Starkey was taken straight to Craigavon Area Hospital due to his level of intoxication and was then transferred to Banbridge Custody the following morning.

District Judge Laura Ievers questioned: “He can’t have been out long from his last sentence he got on May 2 when this happened?”

To this, defence solicitor, Jarlath Fields, replied: “He consumed an awful lot of drink on that particular day. He had a health issue and was in the company of a number of people who were telling him to go to the pharmacy. That’s what took him there in the first place.

“I have actually seen the CCTV footage and it shows Mr Starkey standing there waiting in a queue. He knocks over one pair of sunglasses and in his efforts to pick those up, he falls backwards into a stand and knocks the whole thing flying. Other members of staff come over and at that point he reacts completely inappropriately and strikes the pharmacist.

“He’s then arrested and taken to the police station where he makes full and frank admissions. He was refused bail by police and subsequently then by the court given the extent of his record.”

Judge Ievers, addressing the defendant, said: “He’s now 28. I mean Mr Starkey, you have 122 convictions.

“The serious one here is the assault on the pharmacy manager who is there running a shop and you come in and cause havoc.

“I have looked at his statement and he says he was punched to his top lip which caused bleeding and damage to a prior tooth repair. This is a man who is out doing a day’s work, running a pharmacy, and he’s assaulted in his course of work providing a very valuable service to the public.”

Starkey was sentenced to five months immediate custody, half of which will be spent on licence.

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Most read today

More in Armagh