Sunday 16 December 2018

Businessman who ran naked into a hotel lobby is found guilty of criminal damage

Eamon Devlin. Photo: North West Newspix
Eamon Devlin. Photo: North West Newspix

Stephen Maguire

A businessman who ran naked into a hotel lobby claiming there were "gypsies" in his bedroom has been found guilty of criminal damage.

Marketing manager Eamon Devlin pulled the taps off walls causing huge flood damage to Ballyliffin Lodge Hotel, in Co Donegal, in September 2016.

The 41-year-old had earlier gone downstairs into the hotel lobby completely naked saying there were gypsies in his room before he ransacked it.

He instructed his legal team to plead not guilty and blamed an over-the-counter tablet for sparking a psychosis which led to his "bizarre behaviour".

The defence team claimed his consumption of the tablets with alcohol had led to a case of "involuntary intoxication".

However, a jury yesterday found Devlin guilty of causing criminal damage.

Judge John Aylmer remanded Devlin on bail and adjourned sentencing to the next sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court in December.

The trial heard how Devlin booked into the hotel with his three-year-old son as he was going through a divorce and wanted to spend time with his child.

They enjoyed a day out playing pitch and putt before having a swim and some bar food at the hotel.

He had a pint of Carlsberg, an Irish coffee and took a bottle of wine to his room. At 11.30pm Devlin ordered another bottle of wine be brought to his room.

However, in the early hours of the morning, around 5am, Devlin arrived in the reception of the hotel naked carrying his son who was in his pyjamas.

He asked staff to come to his room, number 214, claiming there was "gypsies" in his room and he needed to get them out.

Night porter Seamus Henry went to the room but found nothing wrong and there was nobody else in his room.

Around 6am Mr Henry received a phone call from room 215 complaining of shouting in the accused man's rooms which had been going on for half an hour. Mr Henry went upstairs and noticed the corridor was flooded.

Mr Henry said room 214 was under three inches of water and sinks had been pulled off the bathroom wall and there was broken glass everywhere.

Irish Independent

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