19 Aug 2022

‘Lost the head’ and damaged parked car - Kilkenny District Court hears

Suspended sentence: Man convicted of causing criminal damage

A man who damaged a car parked outside County Hall has been convicted of criminal damage and handed down a suspended prison sentence.

Ian Devlin, 13 Larchfield, Kilkenny, contested two charges of causing criminal damage. One was dismissed, following a legal application, and one proceeded to conviction.

Kilkenny District Court heard from Rina Lennon who said on May 6, 2020, she was at work in the County Hall building and her car was parked outside. They heard ‘ructions’ outside and someone told her that her car had been damaged.

Ms Lennon went outside and saw a wing mirror broken off her car. Her car was silver coloured.
Fiona Murphy said she was working in the building and at about 3.30pm heard noise outside. She went outside with Ms Lennon and saw a wing mirror on her own car hanging down. Her car was blue coloured.

Ursula Whelan was looking out an office window at about 3.30pm. She heard shouting and saw a man ‘swing’ at a silver car. She saw the wing mirror ‘flying.’ There were three other people with him. She rang the gardaí.
Ms Whelan heard one of the ladies shout ‘what are you doing? I’m out on bail’. Then she heard the man say ‘I just lost the head’.

CCTV was shown in court. It did not cover the area where the cars were parked but was pointing in the other direction. The four people can be seen walking out of the car park, and on another camera can be seen walking out the front gate of the County Hall yard, onto John Street.

A third CCTV camera showed Mr Devlin and one of the women walking over John’s Bridge, a few minutes later. A garda car stopped and a garda spoke to them. At the time the garda was not aware of the connection between the people and the earlier incident but observed Mr Devlin was intoxicated.
The garda said he was satisfied from Ms Whelan’s description that the man who damaged the car was Mr Devlin. He was also satisfied Mr Devlin had damaged the blue car, as it was parked directly behind the silver car.

The garda said there was no injury to Mr Devlin’s hand when he spoke to him on the bridge.
Solicitor Chris Hogan said both men on CCTV looked similar. The garda disagreed, saying one had brown hair and the other a shaved head.

Mr Hogan said that while the garda believed the person who damaged one car also damaged the other there was no evidence of this. He applied for the charge of damaging the blue car to be struck out.
Judge Geraldine Carthy agreed the threshold had not been reached to prove the second charge, damaging the blue car, and dismissed it.

Mr Devlin was convicted of one charge of causing criminal damage.
The court heard Mr Devlin had 21 previous convictions.
Mr Hogan said the damage was at the lower end of the scale.
Mr Devlin, the solicitor said, has had a lot of challenges in his life and addiction difficulties. He was homeless for a time, now has accommodation and is engaging with the services.
Judge Carthy said this was completely unprovoked. When a person parks their car in Kilkenny they would expect to come back to find it undamaged.
The judge imposed a five month prison sentence on Mr Devlin, suspended for 18 months.

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