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Grandfather (40) threw chair at gardai

A GRANDFATHER picked up a chair and threw it at gardai after they confronted him in the kitchen area of a Dublin hotel with money he'd taken from a locker, a court has heard.

Keith Woodward (40) took €70 as well as sterling and dollars, which fell out of his pockets during a struggle with gardai.

The defendant also hit out at gardai while he was in the patrol car on the way to the garda station.

Judge Ann Ryan adjourned sentencing to April.

Woodward, of Carton Drive, Poppintree, Ballymun, admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to charges of theft and threatening and abusive behaviour.

The incident took place at the Stillorgan Park Hotel around 3.30am on February 22 last year.

Garda Kajetan Koziarowski said Woodward was found in the kitchen area of the hotel. He took €70 as well as $149 (€108) and £29 (€33.50) from a locker.

The garda said the defendant refused to give any explanation as to what he was doing in the kitchen area, and he picked up a chair and threw it at gardai.

Woodward had to be restrained, and during the struggle the sterling fell from his pocket onto the floor.

The court heard that Woodward has 16 previous convictions, but most date back more than 15 years.

Defence lawyer Rory Staines said Woodward had a drug problem when he was a young man but that he has been clean for some time, and hasn't been in trouble.

Mr Staines said Woodward fell seriously ill in 2008, and has suffered a number of medical problems since. He is much better now, but at the time of this incident he was intoxicated, though doctors were unable to say what he'd taken.

Mr Staines said Woodward can remember little about the incident, but realises his behaviour was totally unacceptable.

The court heard the defendant has three children, as well as a grandchild, and is currently unemployed.

Judge Ryan ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing to a date in April.

hnews@herald.ie