A 32-year-old man smashed up twelve screens at a Paddy Power betting outlet, declaring, “Paddy Power ruined my life.”
Garda Aidan Noonan described what happened at Paddy Power on Cornmarket Street, Cork, on Tuesday, June 4, when he gave evidence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court today.
“Philip Barry entered Paddy Power on Cornmarket Street. It was open for business at the time and there were patrons present.
“He shouted how Paddy Power had ruined his life. He proceeded to smash TV screens on the wall. He initially used his fists and then picked up a stool.
“12 screens were damage at a cost of €15,000. He fled the scene. Three hours later he presented himself at a garda station and made admissions,” Garda Noonan said.
The accused had 103 previous convictions including eight for causing criminal damage in the past, all of which were dealt with at district court level.
Defence barrister, Allison McCarthy, said Barry co-operated fully with the garda investigation.
Ms McCarthy BL said the defendant was in an isolated position with no family support at the moment, so much so that he was remanded in custody on June 5 with consent to €100 High Court bail but there was nobody available to pay that bail money for him.
“He was homeless at the time of the offence.
"The night before this occurred he could not get into Simon (because of demand for the facility) and he ended up sleeping on the street for a number of days. It was raining on the night before and he just snapped. He could not take it anymore.
“He is extremely sorry for what he has done. He has a life no one would envy. He does need a chance to get his life back on track.”
Judge Brian O’Callaghan adjourned sentencing until February 12, 2020, on bail so that he could contact the probation service and address his issues.
The judge said, “I want to find out more about this man. He might have a tough time but he cannot make life tougher for everybody else as well. That is the bottom line.”
Ms McCarthy BL said the defendant would try to reach out again to a family member for the €100 bail money to get out of jail.
Barry pleaded guilty to smashing twelve 55-inch TV screens.
When he was first arrested and brought before Cork District Court, Inspector Ann Marie Twomey, asked the defendant, “Have you a problem with Paddy Power?”
The defendant who is of no fixed address, replied, “Yeah, I gambled. They destroyed most of my life.”
Philip Barry said this was not his normal behaviour and that it was totally out of character for him.
At another stage in his bail application, he said, “I had nothing to live for, I had no family, no friends. I did it to try and get some help. I didn’t want to be on the streets. I just lost it.”