Monday 26 September 2016

Former Apple worker (37) jailed for causing €15,000 worth of damage to luxury flat by storing excrement and urine there for three months

*Some readers may find the contents of the following report distressing

Published 26/11/2015 | 16:51

Robert Kummer at Cork Court. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Robert Kummer at Cork Court. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Robert Kummer who was sentenced to 12 months at Cork Court yesterday. Photo: Provision

A FORMER Apple worker was jailed for 12 months for causing €15,000 worth of damage to a luxury Cork flat by storing his excrement and urine in bottles, bags and boxes around the property over a three month period.

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The storage by Robert Kummer (37) of hundreds of bags of his own excrement and bottles of urine resulted in a major public health scare.

Gardai were so concerned by what they discovered in the Fitton Street flat in Cork city centre they alerted the fire brigade.

The smell in the flat was so noxious that brigade officials had to use breathing apparatus to conduct an examination of the interior of the property located just metres from Cork's main shopping streets.

The excrement had seeped through the floor-boards of the flat and officials were worried it may have entered other parts of the complex.

Gardai were first notified when a neighbour became very concerned about a foul smell emanating from Mr Kummer's flat.

The scene inside the flat was so graphic, with excrement smeared on walls, floors and even the ceiling, that gardai initially feared "something untoward had happened."

But an investigation revealed that the German national, who moved to Ireland in 2009, had been storing his faeces in various containers around the flat for over three months.

There appeared to be no reason for the storage with the toilet facilities in the complex working properly.

Kummer pleaded guilty to criminal damage at the complex on dates leading up to September 24 2013.

Judge Sean O'Donnabhain in Cork Circuit Criminal Court was told that the excrement had caused enormous damage to the flat.

All the floor-boards had to be ripped up and replaced.

The entire flat had to be cleaned and fully redecorated involving all ceilings, walls and floors.

Kummer had been remanded on bail following his plea to allow him raise compensation for the landlord involved.

However, the court was told that, despite lengthy adjournments, he had raised only €800 despite being in good employment.

Judge O'Donnabhain heard that Kummer was examined by psychiatrist Dr John Dennehy.

The psychiatrist said that Kummer might have suffered from "depressive episodes."

However, he was still "at a loss to explain his behaviour."

Judge O'Donnabhain acknowledged it was a very strange case.

"This is a most unusual case. It is bizarre," he said.

"There was very extensive damage to the property. It is essentially a case of fouling the property."

The court had earlier been told that Kummer's mother had gotten sick in Germany and her cancer diagnosis had a significant emotional impact on him.

He now deeply regrets his actions in the flat.

No one had any inkling before gardai arrived at the flat what Kummer was doing – with friends, workmates and other neighbours totally oblivious until one neighbour because deeply concerned about the worsening smell.

Kummer had been showering each day in his workplace.

He had also been taking his clothes to a Cork laundry.

Judge O'Donnabhain said there had been "very graphic evidence" about Kummer's behaviour in the flat and its consequences.

"The accused had every opportunity to pay (significant) compensation.

But he did not do so," he added.

"It is now likely that there is going to be no (major) recompense for the landlord."

Judge O'Donnabhain jailed Kummer for 12 months.

He backdated the sentence to November 19 when Kummer was taken into custody.

The German national, who appeared in court wearing denims and fleece jacket, did not speak during the brief court hearing.

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