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Man who slapped pregnant woman and rammed fingers into ribcage of Armagh chemist worker jailed

"He actually wants me to say thank you for refusing him bail as it gave him an opportunity to dry himself out...and work out what he's going to do for the rest of his life."

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A man who slapped a pregnant woman and pointed his finger – shaped as a gun – in the face of a female staff member inside an Armagh chemist has been handed an eight month prison sentence.

Glenn Ethan Flynn, with an address of Castle Drive in Caledon, appeared before Newry Magistrates’ Court, via videolink from Maghabgerry on Wednesday, charged with a range of offences committed in Armagh city over a four day period in July.

The court heard that on Thursday, July 21, police received a report from Wineflair on the Lonsdale Road that at approximately 2.20pm, a man described in his early 30s and wearing a pink T-shirt and grey bottoms, had stolen a bottle of gin costing £19.49.

Police then received a report from Gordon’s Chemist in Armagh of a man – matching the same description – threatening and being violent towards staff.

When en route police noticed a male, again matching the description given, lying on the ground outside the hostel in Linenhall Street.

The defendant was spoken to and he identified himself as Glenn Flynn.

Police were made aware by an injured party that the defendant walked past her and called her “a Fenian hating Prod” and walked into Gordon’s Chemist and assaulted a member of staff by pointing his finger, which he shaped as a gun, into her face and then rammed his fingers into her ribcage.

The defendant walked out of Gordon’s Chemist and slapped a pregnant woman to her face.

He was arrested at 3.50pm for two common assaults and one theft and was placed in handcuffs at which point he became violent and struck out at police multiple times. He was restrained and taken to Dungannon custody where he indicated he “couldn’t remember the incident”.

Four days later, on Monday, July 25, at approximately 9pm, police were called to the Simon Community Hostel in Armagh where Flynn had tried to gain entry to the property.

He had been barred from the Simon Community and was refused entry. The defended then repeatedly tried to get in by knocking the windows, buzzing the doorbell and kicking the gate.

The injured party told the defendant that he wasn’t getting access and he’d failed to listen and became aggressive by shouting and swearing in the street. He punched and kicked a lamppost.

He attempted to get in through the front door and had started to push against the complainant “which had made her feel scared and intimidated”.

She’d advised police that she’d managed to usher him out the door to the street but Flynn began to kick the windows and doors shouting that “he was coming in and going to rip the place apart”.

After being arrested Flynn tried to smash the police car window twice with the handcuffs before headbutting one constable and attempting to bite another.

Flynn was also charged with criminal damage on September 24, having ripped off his security tag and shattering it against a wall.

Defending, Damien Halleron BL, said his client “does not recognise himself in his cold sobriety” and that he was “disgusted with himself”.

“He has no memory of these incidents and that’s because…this man has a long standing addiction to alcohol. He’s 29 years of age and he has to get a grip from himself.

“He actually wants me to say thank you for refusing him bail as it gave him an opportunity to dry himself out…and work out what he’s going to do for the rest of his life.”

Mr Halleron said the assault on the pregnant woman was “incredibly distasteful behaviour”.

And he added: “His mother has re-engaged with him because previously, he wasn’t living with his mother; he was living with like-minded friends who were also drinking too much….the hope is that he can go back to Armagh.”

Distrct Judge Eamon King, referencing his 152 previous convictions, said: “There are a lot of people who suffer from an addiction and they never darken the door of a court. It’s quite clear from the record that I’m looking at, that he hasn’t at any stage over the past number of years even taken any steps to address the issues that result in him having been brought before the court.

“And here we have, over the course of four days in July of this year; common assault on two women who are doing their day’s work, one of them expecting a child and then she’s subjected to this conduct.”

District Judge King handed down a plethora of sentences for the offences totalling a maximum eight months – two four month sentences to run consecutively for the common assaults.

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