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Antiques dealer painted 'war' on GSOC windows


AN ANTIQUES dealer painted the word 'war' onto windows at the Garda Ombudsman's offices, and then painted over the word 'justice' at the Criminal Courts of Justice on the same day.

Anthony Crowley (47) was spotted on CCTV using a paint roller on an umbrella to cause the damage at the offices of the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), a court heard. Judge Bryan Smyth gave him a six-month suspended sentence.

The accused, of Portobello Harbour, Dublin 8, had pleaded not guilty to causing criminal damage at GSOC, Abbey Street on November 27, 2013 and again on September 30 that year.

He also denied a charge of damaging the Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) on November 27.

Detective Garda Sheila Sheehan told Dublin District Court she viewed CCTV from the CCJ and recognised the accused from his "distinctive walk".

She had been called to an earlier incident after the GSOC office windows were damaged overnight. The word 'war' had been painted on the windows.

The same kind of paint and modus operandi had been used in the incidents.

Before that, on September 30, the GSOC sign itself was painted over and the man who caused the damage had been seen on CCTV wearing a black trilby hat. Gardai found a similar hat in the accused's flat.

Mr Crowley said this was not the same hat.

A garda searched the bins in the laneway and discovered a paint roller and tray.

Mr Crowley made a number of "very serious" allegations against a named solicitor, but Judge Smyth said these were not relevant to the case. He also made allegations against gardai and GSOC.

Crowley told the court he had had "extreme difficulties" with GSOC. In relation to each GSOC charge, he said he was "not responsible but 100pc guilty".

Of the CCJ charge, he said he did it to "drag" a number of third parties into court, but they were not present.