A 74-year-old Dublin man who slashed the tyres on a student's car because he didn't like where it was parked has escaped without a conviction after paying for the damage he caused.
Joseph Farrelly, of Maol-buille Road in Glasnevin, pleaded guilty to slashing two tyres on a Toyota Yaris belonging to student Natalia Lubinska, who was a tenant in a house next door to him.
Judge Colin Daly described it as a "particularly nasty" act of vandalism against a young woman.
At a sitting of Dublin District Court at the Criminal Courts of Justice on Thursday, evidence was given that last November 3 a complaint was made by the student that two tyres had been slashed on her 08-registered Toyota at around 11.30pm.
CCTV footage viewed by gardai showed Farrelly leaving his house and crossing the road before reaching down to the wheels of the car parked nearest the kerb.
The footage showed Farrelly making two trips from his house with an implement in his hand and crossing the road to the car, which was parked opposite his neighbour's house, and bending down behind the vehicle.
The court heard that Farrelly was arrested and charged with criminal damage on the basis of the CCTV footage.
He pleaded guilty to the charge, and counsel for Farrelly submitted medical records to the judge on a mental health issue, and said that at the time of the incident Farrelly had been drinking and had recently suffered bereavement following the death of a friend.
"There was frustration with where the car was parked," he said.
He said Farrelly had made a terrible decision and accepted the difficulties he had caused the car's owner, and explained that his actions were an aberration of his character.
He added that Farrelly was very apologetic and had no previous convictions.
Judge Colin Daly asked what level of means Farrelly had and was told he was on the State pension.
The judge dismissed the case, leaving Farrelly without a conviction, after €250 in compensation was paid over to the victim to cover the cost of replacing the two tyres.
Addressing Farrelly, Judge Daly said the incident was "an act of vandalism against a young woman" and was "particularly nasty".
Speaking after the case, the owner of the house where the student, Ms Lubinska, was living said she was angered by the verdict.
"My tenant's car was parked across the road in front of my house. It wasn't in front of Farrelly's house. He had to cross the road to get to it," she said.