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Loser smashed up TV in bookies after staff started laughing at him

A FORMER betting shop worker who is a compulsive gambler smashed a flat-screen TV in a bookies after he lost his dole money on virtual horse races.

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

He claimed it was an accident that the pencil holder hit a 42-inch TV, causing €580 worth of damage. Judge James McDonnell adjourned the matter to a date in December to allow Fitzhenry save up the compensation.

The defendant, of Seskin View Road in Tallaght, admitted before Tallaght District Court to criminal damage.

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

Garda Sergeant Carmel Henry said Fitzhenry was in the bookmakers betting on virtual racing. He lost the money, and then picked up a pencil holder and threw it at a TV.

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

He felt he was being laughed and sneered at by the workers in the bookies and in the heat of the moment he over-reacted and threw the pencil holder. Fitzhenry told the court he didn't mean to hit or damage the TV.

He said he was in a lot of debt due to his gambling addiction and his family has disowned him.

Fitzhenry said he was attending Gamblers Anonymous and had not placed a bet in five months.

Judge McDonnell said he would give Fitzhenry some time to pay for the damage he caused, and adjourned the matter to a date in December.