Sunday 24 June 2018

Fair City's 'Zumo' who bit and punched ex-girlfriend spared jail sentence

Actor Patrick Fitzpatrick
Actor Patrick Fitzpatrick

Tom Tuite

A FAIR City star who punched and bit his former partner has been spared a jail sentence.

Actor Patrick Fitzpatrick, 33, who played Carrigstown villain Zumo Bishop for six years in the RTE television soap, appeared at Dublin District Court today for sentencing. He received a 12-month probation bond for the attack.

He pleaded guilty earlier to assault causing harm to Theresa Gannon at his home at Hollytree Terrace, Ballymun, on Sept. 4, 2015. The charge was under Section Three of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act. The offence, at district court level, can carry a sentence of up to one year.

Judge John Lindsay noted Fitzpatrick had complied with his order, made at an earlier stage, to pay €2,000 to his former partner. He was also furnished with an updated probation report on the accused as well as a reference from an employer.

Defence counsel Simon Donagh asked the judge to note his client had engaged positively with the Move organisation which helps address domestic violence. He said Fitzpatrick was going to AA, however, the judge pointed out the probation report stated he had not been attending.

Mr Donagh explained there had been a gap but Fitzpatrick was now going again, three times a week.

Theresa Gannon
Theresa Gannon

Judge Lindsay remarked that a good probation report on Fitzpatrick had been furnished to the court and told him, “Well done”, adding that he was imposing a 12-month probation bond.

He said Fitzpatrick must continue attending and complete a 26-week course at Move. Fitzpatrick told the judge he was already in the third module of the course.

He said “I am, yes” when asked to confirm he had gone back to AA. He also explained he has been attending addiction counselling.

Asked how long he expected that to last, he told the court, “There’s no time or date on it.”

Finalising the case, Judge Lindsay said he must continue attending these services as a condition of his probation bond.

At an earlier hearing, Garda Niall Carolan had told Judge Lindsay that Fitzpatrick bit the woman’s upper arm but did not break skin. He has also said the actor then punched her twice on the side of her jaw.

Photos of her injuries were shown to the court.

She suffered bruising and a medical report on her was furnished to the court.

Garda Carolan has told the court the victim “has made a full recovery”.

In February last year, Judge Lindsay had suggested the sum of €2,000 should be paid to Ms Gannon. The defence had asked for the actor to be given time to come up with all the money which was fully paid in instalments.

Fitzpatrick played Fair City gangster Zumo Bishop for six years, from 2007-2013 and briefly reprised the role last year.

His fictional on-screen hard-man alter ego was at the centre of some of programme's biggest stories in recent years. Fitzpatrick’s other acting roles included a part in horror film City of Hate.

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