herald

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Man slashed tyre on neighbour's van outside house after he was refused lift

Ciaran Gillespie ‘took umbrage’ at the way he was spoken to
Ciaran Gillespie ‘took umbrage’ at the way he was spoken to

A man crossed the road to his neighbour's house late at night and slashed a tyre on his van after being earlier refused a lift, a court has heard.

Ciaran Gillespie (32) carried out the "sinister" attack on the vehicle after he "took umbrage" at the way he was spoken to by his neighbour.

Gillespie had a serious drink problem and had relapsed weeks before the incident.

Judge John Hughes adjourned the case, ordering a probation report on the accused and compensation to be paid.

Carpenter Gillespie, of Elton Drive, Ard Na Greine, Dublin 13, pleaded guilty to criminal damage.

Gda Owen Herlihy told Dublin District Court he attended Slademore Avenue, Ard Na Greine, last May 16.

A passenger-side tyre had been slashed on the victim's van and CCTV footage showed the accused coming across the road from his own house at 4.10am.

The damage was to the value of €189.

Gillespie's only previous convictions were for motoring offences.

He made admissions to gardai and said he had no recollection of the incident.

Addiction

Defence solicitor Miska Hanahoe said that when he was arrested the next day, Gillespie was still not sober.

Gda Herlihy said "there was a level of intoxication".

Gillespie had no history of aggression or violence, but had a very serious, long-term alcohol addiction, Ms Hanahoe said.

At the time of the incident, he was living across the road from the victim, and "took umbrage at the way he was spoken to when he asked him for a lift".

He had been in rehab but relapsed "in a major way" three weeks earlier, Ms Hanahoe said.

The accused apologised, was ashamed, embarrassed and remorseful about what happened.

He had now moved back to his native Donegal and was dealing with his addiction.

Judge Hughes told Gillespie his neighbour had "owed you nothing, he didn't owe you a lift, he may have had good reason for not wanting to give you a lift".

He said he was not going to speculate as to the logic of what had happened, adding: "He knows he is a person who can't drink a drop… he knows he can't drink in moderation."

He said he had sympathy for the accused's addiction, but warned that "it's very difficult to get alcohol in prison".

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