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Swords man chased his former girlfriend’s father upstairs and damaged door after he ‘saw red’

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Swords District Court

Swords District Court

Swords District Court

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A 44-year-old man “saw red” and chased his former girlfriend’s father upstairs before damaging a bedroom door, a court has heard.

Damien Philips pleaded guilty to criminal damage and trespass at Windmill Avenue, Swords on November 13, 2020.

The court heard the defendant entered the man’s home without permission and the victim barricaded himself in his bedroom after Philips “charged upstairs” after him.

Judge Deirdre Gearty adjourned the case for a Probation and Welfare Report to consider whether or not community service would be suitable in lieu of a four-month sentence.

The court heard the accused had been involved in a relationship with the victim’s daughter and the incident had happened as he dropped her home.

Garda Dylan Toner said gardaí were dispatched to the property in Windmill Avenue, Swords following reports of an incident. He said the property was well known to gardaí in relation to an ongoing issue between the injured party, Frank Slocket, and Damien Philips, with an address at Grange Abbey Drive, Donaghmede.

At the scene, Mr Slocket told him the defendant had entered the address without permission and had chased him upstairs.

The victim said he had to barricade himself into the bedroom and the accused had damaged the door of the room. The amount of damage caused to the door was €220, the garda added.

The suspect had left the scene by the time gardaí arrived at the property and the victim was in “quite a state of shock”, Garda Toner said. The defendant was arrested and charged later that evening, he added. Philips has 33 previous convictions, including five for criminal damage and seven for public order.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Slocket said the incident had been “very very stressful” for him and told the court he suffers from hypertension and high blood pressure which could be exacerbated by incidents like this leaving him at risk of a stroke or a heart attack. He said he was “very fearful” of Philips and told the court he had to pull his bed up to the door to prevent the defendant from getting in the room.

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Defence barrister Deirdre Flannery said Philips had been dating Mr Slocket’s daughter for a period of time but the relationship had subsequently ended. The barrister said when she first met him two years ago, the defendant had been living in a tent in Swords after his own home had been the subject of an arson attack. She said, with help, Philips eventually got accommodation in a hostel.

He began a relationship with Mr Slocket’s daughter and the injured party never approved of it, the barrister said.

On the date in question, he was wheeling the woman, who has osteoporosis, up the driveway and helping her into the hallway when the injured party made a “derogatory comment” and he “saw red”, Ms Flannery said.

She said Philips then charged up the stairs and kicked the door after experiencing “a moment where he lost his temper”.

The relationship with the injured party’s daughter is now over, she said, which was “probably best all round” as it had been a “dysfunctional relationship”.

Things are now “looking up” for Philips and he now has the possibility of securing an apartment in Tramore, something which he would find immensely helpful as he finds hostel life difficult. She said there is a lot of drink and drug use there and he admits he has been drinking too much as a result.

Adjourning the case for a Probation and Welfare Report, Judge Deirdre Gearty said this had been an extremely difficult and stressful time for the injured party who has his own significant health difficulties.

Judge Gearty said she would consider 80 hours community service in lieu of a four month sentence if deemed suitable for the offence of trespass, taking the criminal damage charge into account.

She adjourned the case to July 25.


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