Addict pestered public for money

editorial image

A drug addict pestering the public for money at Ballymena train station then started shouting and swearing at a female staff member, leaving her upset and in tears, a court has heard.

John Monroe (35), of Lever Park in Portstewart, admitted a charge of disorderly behaviour and was given a five-month jail sentence.

A prosecutor at Ballymena Magistrates Court said police were requested to attend the train station at 7am on Monday, August 28 last year because a disruptive member of the public was swearing and shouting at a staff member and he was also stopping and asking people for money.

The court heard Monroe even tried to scrounge cash from the staff member but he left before police arrived.

However, he returned in a “more agitated” state and again shouted and swore at the same staff member before following her into a waiting room. Monroe threw a shoe at her and told her: “Do you think I don’t know where you live”.

The prosecutor said the staff member was “upset and crying”. Monroe was later located in the Harryville area and was “unrepentant” at what he had done.

Defence barrister Andrew Moriarty said his client had problems with alcohol and drugs and wished to apologise for his actions.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said Monroe had an “appalling record” and there had been a late guilty plea.

He told Monroe: “This was very poor behaviour. Confronting a female attendant doing her job is unacceptable”.

Last week at the same court, Monroe was jailed for nine months after it was heard he took drugs in the toilet of a McDonald’s restaurant.

The court heard staff spotted him acting suspiciously and when police arrived they found “various discarded drug paraphernalia” in the toilet. He was searched and inside a pair of shorts under his jeans he had 14 grammes of cannabis and quantities of heroin and Diazepam.