James Kennefick, aged 69, pleaded guilty yesterday to assaulting Stephen Preston and causing criminal damage to his phone at Woodies on Pouladuff Rd, Cork.
Inspector John Deasy outlined the background to what happened on March 28.
Insp Deasy said Kennefick complained about the price of an item he wished to buy. Mr Preston, a Woodies employee, pointed out the price of the item.
“But when he pointed out the price, the man punched him in the side of the head and a struggle ensued,” said Insp Deasy.
“Mr Preston went to telephone gardaí and the defendant knocked the phone out of his hand and stamped on it, causing €400 damage to the phone. The phone was damaged beyond repair.”
The inspector said Kennefick, of Pearse Rd, Ballyphehane, Cork, had previous assault convictions dating back to 2011 and 1989.
Emmet Boyle, solicitor, said: “He is going to be 70 at his next birthday. He is a single man who worked in London as a labourer. He returned to Ballyphehane where he was born and bred.
“On the day he had five pints and five half ones. He produced €20 to pay for an item. He was told it was €27. There was an argument about the price. He saw red and completely lost the run of himself.”
Judge Olann Kelleher asked the defendant if he had a drink problem. He replied: “I have a couple of pints on a Friday. That is my limit.”
The judge said he would put penalty back on the charges for three weeks for him to start gathering compensation of €400 for the phone he destroyed.