Student smashed lights on minibus

Andrew Phelan

A STUDENT who smashed light fittings on a minibus while it was hired to bring him and his friends "around town" has avoided a conviction after paying compensation for the damage.

Alan McAteer (21) admitted causing the damage while the taxi-bus was driving the group of pals around Dublin centre. The defendant, of Patrick Street, Portarlington, Co Laois, pleaded guilty to criminal damage at Harcourt Street on January 26 last.

The court heard gardai were called to St Stephen's Green after it was reported that damage had been caused to a minibus. The victim pointed out the accused as having caused the damage. The court heard he had been intoxicated and had pulled light fittings from the ceiling.

A friend of the defendant's had pulled speakers from the wall.

McAteer was arrested and charged. The total cost of the damage was €220 and this had been paid over to the gardai.

The court heard the taxi bus had been hired to drive the defendant and his friends around town while they drank.

The accused had been punching the ceiling when he caused the damage, his solicitor said. He had felt he was then picked out because he was wearing a luminous T-shirt at the time. He had no previous convictions.

The judge applied the Probation Act, leaving the defendant without a criminal record.