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Gambler smashed TV after losing cash

A COMPULSIVE gambler smashed up a flat-screen TV in a bookies after he lost his dole money betting on virtual horse races, a court heard.

Colm Fitzhenry (25) claimed he picked up a pencil holder and threw it in frustration as the workers in the bookies were laughing at him.

Fitzhenry, a former betting shop worker, claimed it was an accident that the pencil holder hit a 42" flat screen TV, causing €580 worth of damage.

The matter was before the court for sentencing after a judge gave Fitzhenry an opportunity to pay compensation.

Fitzhenry said he couldn't pay the money as he is "up to his eyes in debt".

Judge James McDonnell convicted and fined him €250.

Fitzhenry, of Seskin View Road in Tallaght, had admitted before Tallaght District Court to a charge of criminal damage.

The incident took place at Tom Flood Bookmakers, Firhouse Shopping Centre, shortly before 12 noon on February 2.

Defence solicitor Eddie O'Connor, said Fitzhenry was a regular gambler. He was in that morning, and he lost his dole money betting on virtual races.

He felt he was being laughed at, and sneered by, the workers in the bookies and in the heat of the moment he over-reacted and threw the pencil holder.