A BUSINESSMAN who carried out an acid attack on his neighbour's car has avoided jail after paying compensation for the damage.
Patrick Casey (48) left his house in the middle of the night to pour paint-stripping foam over the other man's car but was caught on his neighbour's CCTV camera.
Dublin District Court heard the two sets of neighbours, who had been living opposite each other for 11 years before the incident, had developed an "unfortunate relationship".
Casey, of Fernvale Drive, Crumlin had denied a charge of criminal damage to the car while it was parked outside his neighbours Helena and Michael O'Reilly's house.
Judge Ann Watkin dismissed the charge under the Probation Act after Casey paid €1,000 compensation to his neighbour and another €400 to charity.
During the trial, Casey's wife had claimed the CCTV footage had been "set up" to make it look like the accused.
Mr O'Reilly told the court he came out of his house to go playing golf on the morning of January 4, 2009.
He saw what he thought at first was snow on top of his silver Subaru Legacy.
"When I investigated, it was some sort of liquid that would foam up and was stripping the paint from my car," he said.
The total value of the damage was €2,900, which was covered by insurance.
When he viewed CCTV footage taken by a camera he had just installed on the outside of his house, Mr O'Reilly said he recognised the accused, as did his wife.
In the footage, played back to the court, the figure was seen returning to the accused's garden.
Although the culprit's face was obscured, Mr O'Reilly said he recognised Casey's goatee beard and his "distinctive walk".
"I know every move he makes, every shape he makes," Mr O'Reilly said of Casey. "I was shocked when I looked at the CCTV because I thought it would be one of the younger crew that did it. I was flabbergasted that it was the man across the road pouring some sort of acid on my car.
"Why, I had no idea.
"Mr Casey is a businessman in the area I wouldn't have expected that type of behaviour from him."
Ms O'Reilly said the car was in perfect condition when she left it there the night before. The O'Reillys maintained that it was "lethal" to enter the cul de sac through the Caseys' property because of razor wire.
The Caseys insisted their property was used as a shortcut by people coming from Pearse Park and that it was somebody else who did the damage.
The accused said he had been in bed all night with his wife. He said he walked in "a perfect manner" and knew "a lot of people with goatees".