Man jailed for attacking binman who refused to collect rubbish

John Morley assaulted Greyhound worker after blacklisting for nonpayment

Refuse collectors attacked: the Greyhound crew were emptying bins in Finglas. File photograph: David Sleator

Refuse collectors attacked: the Greyhound crew were emptying bins in Finglas. File photograph: David Sleator

 

A father of five who drunkenly assaulted a refuse collector after a bin was not emptied has been jailed for two years.

John Morley (31), of Deanstown Drive in Finglas, Dublin, was one of three men who attacked the Greyhound Recycling worker in August 2015 after the crew realised that the bin had been blacklisted for nonpayment. Another of the trio also attacked a garda who came to the incident.

Judge Melanie Greally said at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Morley, who pleaded guilty, had played a prominent role in a deeply disturbing incident and that being under the influence of alcohol was no justification for his actions.

Sgt Robert Griffin told the court that the victim was part of a three-man collection crew who had started to empty the bin, outside a house on Virginia Park in Finglas, but taken it off the truck’s lifting arms when they discovered that it had been blacklisted. They then put a sticker on it to alert the owner.

Threat of arson

Three men came over and complained to one of the victim’s colleagues. When he intervened, to explain the situation, the men began pushing the refuse collectors. Two of the men began to empty the bin into the truck; one, holding a cigarette lighter, asked the crew if they wanted him to start a fire.

When one of the men who had begun to empty the bin scratched his leg on the lifting arms as he got down from the truck, he accused the driver of trying to kill him by pressing a button to move the arms. The workers explained that the man had set off the lift’s sensor himself.

Sgt Griffin said the driver of the truck drove away after one of the men tried to pull him out of the cab. The victim managed to call the Garda before one of the men tried to punch him. He avoided the blow but fell over, and he was on the ground, being kicked by the men, when the Garda arrived.

Pepper-sprayed

Morley, who said he had been defending himself, then became aggressive and abusive towards the gardaí who arrested him. Garda Michael Hughes was attacked and injured by another of the men but managed to pepper-spray them. After his arrest Morley said he had been trying to help the men by emptying the bin into the truck.

Morley’s barrister, Seoirse Ó Dúnlaing, apologised to the court on behalf of his client, who has 20 previous convictions. The judge suspended the final year of a three-year prison sentence on condition that Morley take part in victim-awareness work.

Last February the two other men also received partially suspended three-year sentences for their roles in assaulting the binman.