Saturday 18 November 2017

Gambler went 'out of his mind after losing' and smashed betting shop TVs

Court heard incident happened at a Ladbrokes store on Camden Street, Dublin
Court heard incident happened at a Ladbrokes store on Camden Street, Dublin

Andrew Phelan

A gambling addict who went "out of his mind" after losing threatened betting shop staff and smashed TVs.

Warren Burke (39) "exploded" with anger and caused €2,500 worth of damage when he threw stools at TV screens and a betting machine, Dublin District Court was told.

He also frightened staff by climbing on a counter and warning he would be "waiting for them".

Judge Michael Walsh adjourned the case for a pre-sentence probation report.

Burke, of Mercer Street, Dublin 2, admitted criminal damage, public drunkenness and threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour.

The court heard there were four separate incidents.

The father-of-three was gambling at the Ladbrokes shop on Camden Street last May when he picked up a stool and threw it at a betting machine, causing €1,000 worth of damage.

A month later, he returned to the same shop and pulled a 42-inch flat-screen TV off the wall.

This destroyed the TV and part of the cabling, causing €1,090 worth of damage.

In August, he was in another Ladbrokes shop when he picked up a stool and threw it at two TVs, causing €400 worth of damage.

In January, Burke went to Paddy Power on Wexford Street and attempted to place a €200 bet on a race. When told he was too late because the race had already started, he became extremely abusive and threatened staff, saying he would be "waiting for them after the shop closed".

He picked up a stool and held it over his head as he approached the glass partition.

Two staff members thought he was going to break it and activated the panic alarm.

Gardai arrived to find customers hurrying out of the shop.

Inside, Burke, who appeared very angry and intoxicated, was standing on the cashier's desk, shouting at frightened staff.

Burke did no harm to anyone, his barrister said. He had a gambling debt and had been trying to win back the money.

When he failed, he put more pressure on himself and "exploded into moments of bad temper".

Last year was a "blur" for him and he was "out of his mind" at the time of the incidents, said his barrister.

Burke had no previous convictions.

Herald

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