Student 'got into a fight' with a double decker bus because he was concussed, court told
AN UNDERGRADUATE student “got into a fight” with a double decker bus because he was concussed, having been assaulted on a night out.
Eoin Spillane (28) stood in front of the bus on the quays in Dublin and attacked it, snapping off the windscreen wiper.
He maintained he had been hit on the head by a man with a bottle earlier in the night, was suffering from concussion and “did not know what he was doing”.
The accused, who is studying for a BA in community development, admitted a criminal damage charge at Dublin District Court and Judge Anthony Halpin adjourned the case for sentencing next month, after the defendant paid compensation for the €150 worth of damage caused.
Spillane, of North Great Charles Street, Dublin 1 pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to a Dublin bus at Burgh Quay on April 12 last.
The DPP had directed summary disposal of the case at District Court level.
A garda sergeant told Judge Halpin that Spillane stood in front of the bus, did not get out of the way and grabbed the wiper from the windscreen, pulling it off. He “appeared to be very drunk at the time,” she added.
Spillane had prior convictions for public order and other offences and had been given a suspended sentence by another court. The incident had been a “very foolish thing,” he was very embarrassed about it and regretted it, his solicitor Donal Quigley said.
“He was out drinking and there was alcohol involved,” Mr Quigley continued. “He was assaulted on the night in question and he appears to have got into a fight with the bus. He didn’t know what he was doing.”
The court heard Spillane later attended the Mater hospital and was told he was concussed.
The accused was in college studying for a BA in Social and Community Development Studies. The cost of the damage to the bus was €150 and he had this amount in compensation in court.
Spillane, who was “quite an intelligent person” was in his second year and taking exams at the moment. He was studying to “change his life around” after a period of offending.
“The course is helping him to address where he went wrong in the past,” Mr Quigley said.
“He is trying to understand how he can make sure he will not come to the attention of the gardai again.”
Judge Halpin adjourned the case and said he would finalise it on the next date. He said the accused had proved he was “getting his act together.”
Judge Halpin decided to defer finalisation of the case and adjourned it to a date after the period of suspension ends.
He did not indicate what the penalty would be.
The defendant was remanded on continuing bail.