| 13.2°C Dublin

Football coach kicked in bank door by mistake

A SPORTS coach kicked in the door of a city centre bank because he mistook it for the apartment building where he was staying with a friend.

Patrick Harkin (24) was drunk when he smashed in the door of the Ulster Bank on Suffolk Street, after kicking it in what he thought was an attempt to "get the porter's attention".

A judge said he would leave him without a criminal record after he paid €300 to charity as well as the €300 compensation for the damage.

Harkin, a qualified soccer and volleyball coach, of Thistlewod Park, Foyle Springs, Derry, pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to a charge of criminal damage.

The court heard the accused kicked the glass door of the bank at Suffolk Street, Dublin 2 at 7.20am on August 1. The glass panel smashed and the accused admitted what he had done when gardai arrived at the scene.

"The garda understood he thought it was his apartment building and he was kicking the door to get the porter's attention," a sergeant told the court.

Harkin's lawyer pointed out that the prosecuting garda had not seen the incident himself and it was the accused who admitted what had happened.

He had no previous convictions for any offence in any jurisdiction, his lawyer said.



Vetted

"It wasn't an act of wilful or deliberate vandalism but he accepts it had its effect," the accused's lawyer said.

Harkin had been vetted by the Northern Ireland authorities in order to qualify as a coach and this proved he had never been in trouble and had no previous convictions.

Striking the charge out, Judge Denis McLoughlin said he was taking Harkin's early guilty plea, good character and lack of any previous convictions into consideration.

"I am giving him one chance," the judge said.

hnews@herald.ie