Man sacked when he spat in face of female work colleague after being spoken to about his ‘work ethic’ at factory

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A man who spat in the face of a female work colleague after being spoken to about his “work ethic” at the Moy Park poultry factory in Ballymena a week before Christmas, lost his job for the “nasty” offence, Ballymena Magistrates Court has heard.

Stewart Hillis (35), of Sandmount Road, Galgorm, County Antrim, had previously pleaded guilty and was back in court for sentencing on charges of assault; assault on police and attempted criminal damage of a police vehicle.

The offences happened on December 18 last year.

A prosecuting lawyer said police were called to Moy Park in relation to an assault after security staff were called to remove the defendant who had spat in the face of a colleague.

Hillis then assaulted a police officer and head butted and kicked a police car window.
The defendant told police he was “having a rough time” in a relationship and was sorry for his actions.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said issue had been taken with Hillis’ “work ethic” at the time and in a “moment of madness” he spat out.

Mr Law said the “nasty nature of spitting at someone” was unacceptable and his client lost his job.

Ordering Hillis to do 120 hours of unpaid work and to pay £100 compensation to the defendant’s former work colleague, District Judge Nigel Broderick said such incidents were unacceptable.

He said it was “a very nasty thing to spit in someone’s face”.

The judge told the defendant: “It obviously cost you your job, quite properly as well”.

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