Andrew Meneice, from Glenbush Drive in Portrush, Co. Antrim, rose to infamy in recent times after he brought his pet sheep ‘Chops’ into a local Lidl shop.
The incident, which occurred in Lidl in Portrush, resulted in the 33-year-old being handed a four-month prison sentence last year, although he was released on bail pending appeal. During the incident, Mr Meneice is alleged to have assaulted a store detective after being asked to leave the store, as reported by the Belfast Telegraph.
The farmer had been drinking on the day in question and is known in the area to bring his 'Chops' out for walks. Upon originally appearing in court last year, Mr. Meneice pleaded guilty to resisting a police officer, but pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault on a store detective and being disorderly in public.
The courts heard from Lidl store detective, David Bennett, who said the accused appeared intoxicated on the day in question and was attempting to walk the sheep on a lead through the store. Mr. Bennett claims he then blocked a punch from the accused and led him outside, where Mr Meneice is alleged to have thrown further punches.
The Portrush resident reappeared before Coleraine courthouse yesterday, February 7th, where Judge Geoffrey Miller QC suspended his sentence for two years as he was found guilty of assault and disorderly behaviour. The other charge was dismissed and the accused spoke of his delight at avoiding a jail term.
"I am happy this is over and done with now and I'm happy not to be going to jail," said Meneice.
Mr Meniece was also given a two-year restraining order, preventing him bringing Chops to any premises apart from a livestock mart.
"Chops is well-known in Portrush and is a bit of a character. I realise I am not allowed to take her into shops, not even the car parks of shops, but she will still be out and about."
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