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Man smashed window to get himself arrested

A FATHER-of-one went to his local garda station and smashed the windows with a claw hammer because he wanted to be arrested to stop him harming himself, a court heard.

John Murphy (34) was at risk of self-harm when he shattered the windows at Clondalkin Garda Station with the hammer.

Murphy, with an address at Clonliffe Road, Dublin 3, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to plate glass windows on March 23.

He also admitted a related charge of possession of a claw hammer with intent to cause the damage.

Sgt Maria O'Callaghan told Blanchardstown District Court the accused had entered the public office of the garda station with a claw hammer.

Other members of the public were present and he smashed four plate glass windows at the garda station entrance.

He was arrested and the cost of the damage was estimated at €1,500.

The court heard Murphy had 11 previous convictions, for offences including breach of the peace, failing to obey gardai and handling stolen property.

CUSTODY

He had been bound to keep the peace on previous occasions.

The accused had come before the court in custody on the day of the offence and had made no application for bail at that time, his solicitor John O'Doherty told the court.

"He was a man a serious risk of self-harm at that stage," Mr O'Doherty said. "He went into the station with a view to being arrested and put into custody."

The court heard he had since been released from Cloverhill.

The accused had battled a heroin addiction since the age of 17 and was now stable on a methadone programme. He had a seven-year-old son.

"I suppose he wouldn't have €1,500 on him", Judge David McHugh said.

"Having considered the matter and all the circumstances, I will convict him and sentence him to four months in prison," the judge said.

Mr O'Doherty said the accused had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and in vain asked the judge to consider suspending the sentence.

aphelan@herald.ie


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