Belfast Telegraph

'I called him a paedophile ... then was attacked with chocolate bar'

By Andrew Phelan

A man in the Republic of Ireland assaulted a shopkeeper with a bar of chocolate because of a long-running feud between the pair, a court has heard.

Philip Carroll (60) was enraged when he threw the bar at Lee Reilly, punched him and threatened to burn down his shop and home.

Carroll, of Ballyfermot Road, denied two counts of threatening to cause criminal damage and one of assaulting Mr Reilly.

Judge Alan Mitchell found him guilty at Dublin District Court and adjourned the case for the production of a probation report.

Mr Reilly said in evidence he was working in the store when the defendant came in and told shop assistant Luke Williams that "by having a Reilly working here, the store will suffer the consequences".

"He made threats to burn down the store with my mam and my dad and my sisters in it," Mr Reilly said.

"He said 'you are selling drugs to kids in Ballyfermot'. I said, in anger, 'you are a suspected paedophile'. He threw a chocolate bar at me and then he threw a punch at me."

In cross examination, Mr Reilly accepted that there was a "bit of history" between his family and the accused. However, he denied constantly making "cruel comments" or calling Carroll "vile names".

Carroll maintained that when he entered the shop, Mr Reilly told him he did not want him there and had him "thrown into the street". Interviewed by gardai, the defendant said: "I didn't hit him with a chocolate bar." He told officers he made "an attempt" to strike Mr Reilly when he "made a vulgar gesture".

Carroll told the court when he went to the shop, Mr Reilly said he would not serve him, called him a paedophile and told him he was "not welcome".

"That is when the other chap came out and pushed me twice and dragged me out," Carroll said. Carroll denied assaulting Mr Reilly or making any threats, saying his arthritis meant he could not use his hands "as a normal person".

After viewing CCTV footage of the assault, the State solicitor said: "We saw you pick up a chocolate bar and throw it with force at Mr Reilly. That is not someone who is crippled with arthritis."

Judge Mitchell remanded Carroll on continuing bail until November 19.

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