Tuesday 23 July 2019

Addict battled with tourist after bid to steal ring

A TOURIST got involved in a fierce struggle with a drug addict in the act of stealing diamond jewellery from his hotel bedroom, a court heard yesterday.

The tourist surprised the man, who was trying to pay his debt to a cocaine dealer, and made a citizen's arrest.

Declan Murphy (34), of Gloucester Place, Summerhill in Dublin, was sentenced to seven months' imprisonment when he pleaded guilty to entering the River Court Hotel, Kilkenny, as a trespasser on Wednesday and stealing diamond earings, a bracelet and two watches as well as $50. The total value of the haul was ?2,000.

Waterford District Court was told by Det Garda Liam Maher that the bedroom security lock was faulty, and the man slipped into the room. American tourist Michael Lacey was in another bedroom with his two-year-old son, and his wife was in the bar downstairs. The jewellery was removed from a dressing table, and as Murphy was leaving, both men clashed.

Mr Lacey went after Murphy and pulled him back into the bedroom. He then carried out a citizen's arrest. In the struggle which ensued, Murphy threw back the jewellery, and both men wrestled on the floor for five minutes before the gardai were alerted.

Murphy has a long list of previous convictions for the misuse of drugs, assault causing harm, criminal damage and burglary.

Judge William Harnett recommended Murphy receive treatment for drug abuse while in jail.

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