A father of five who took part in drunkenly assaulting a refuse collector after a bin was not collected because it had been “blacklisted” for non-payment has been jailed for two years.
John Morley (31) was one of three men who assaulted the Romanian man working with Greyhound Recycling. A garda who attended at the scene was attacked by one of his co-accused.
Morley of Deanstown Drive, Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting the man causing him harm at Virgina Park, Finglas on August 5, 2015. He has 20 previous convictions.
Judge Melanie Greally said that Morley had played a prominent role in what was a deeply disturbing incident. He was under the influence of alcohol at the time but that this was no justification for his actions.
She suspended the final year of a three-year prison sentence on condition that Morley take part in victim awareness work and keep the peace for that period.
Sergeant Robert Griffin told Karl Finnegan BL, prosecuting, that the victim was part of a three-man bin collection crew working on Virgina Park when they came across a bin “blacklisted” for non-payment.
The bin was removed from the back of the truck and a sticker placed on it to alert the owner. Three men came towards the bin crew complaining to the victim's co-worker that the bin was not being collected. He intervened to explain the situation and the men began pushing the refuse collectors.
Two of the men began emptying the bin into the back of truck. One of the men held a cigarette lighter in his hand and asked the crew did they want him to start a fire.
One of the men getting down off the back of the truck scratched his leg on the lift. He accused the driver of pressing a button to move it and trying to kill him. The workers explained to him that there was a sensor on the lift and he had in fact set it off himself.
Sgt Griffin said the driver of the truck drove off after one of the men tried to pull him out of the cab.
The victim managed to call gardaí before one of the men tried to punch him. He avoided the blow but fell over. He was on the ground being kicked by the men when gardaí arrived.
Morley told gardaí that he had been defending himself.
Sgt Griffin said as the victim explained that he had been attacked by the men, Morley became verbally abusive. Gardaí decided to arrest him and he became aggressive and abusive towards them.
Garda Michael Hughes was attacked and injured by another man but managed to pepper spray him and Morley to subdue them. Morley was arrested and brought to Finglas garda station.
He told gardaí that he had come upon the situation and had been trying to assist the men by emptying the bin into the truck.
Seoirse O Dunlaing BL, defending Morley, said his client had been drunk at the time. He said alcohol does not provide a defence or an excuse but does provide an explanation or context.
He said he was instructed to apologise on behalf of his client. He handed a number of reports into court as well as a letter from Morley's partner.
Last February two co-accused received partially suspended three-year sentences for their roles in assaulting the bin man.