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Dad broke his neighbour's window with stone after long-running feud

A FATHER-of -five who is involved in an ongoing dispute with his former neighbours got drunk and threw a stone through their porch window, smashing the glass, a court heard.

Stephen Smart (43) was out for a few drinks when he got a phone call from his daughter, who was once friends with the neighbour's daughter, and he "foolishly" decided to go around to their house. He apologised for his behaviour.

Judge Patrick Brady fined Smart €750 after he heard the defendant had paid compensation for the damage. The judge also advised Smart to look into counselling or mediation with his former neighbours.

The defendant, of Berwick Estate in Swords, admitted before Swords District Court to a charge of criminal damage.

The incident took place at Windmill Avenue in Swords shortly after 3am on October 3 last year. Garda Sergeant Paul Madden said Smart threw a stone through a front porch window of a house, smashing the glass and causing €290 worth of damage.

Sgt Madden said the smash woke up a couple in their 40s who were asleep upstairs and they saw Smart leaving the area.

The court heard Smart had 23 previous convictions, most dating back a number of years. Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Smart worked for a courier company, and had five children.

She said Smart's house burned down a number of years ago, and he and his family were left with nothing. They moved into a new house, but they had ongoing difficulties with their neighbours, who continually made complaints about them to the landlord.

hnews@herald.ie