herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Guest cleared of €2k damage after his hotel room trashed

A HOTEL guest whose room was found "completely dest-royed" after he checked out has been cleared of a charge of causing the damage.

Glen Gannon (43) had booked the room at the Dublin city centre hotel but was found not guilty of being responsible for the damage, which another man caused in less than 15 minutes.

Dublin District Court heard his friend, who was sharing the twin room with him, had had a "screaming match" with staff just before Mr Gannon left him alone in the room as he was leaving.





TRASHED

Staff later found it trashed, with the damage of over €2,000.

Mr Gannon, of Churchview, Co Offaly, pleaded not guilty to a charge of criminal damage at the Harcourt Hotel, Harcourt Street, on March 4, 2010.

A duty manager told the court that staff found the room "completely and utterly destroyed", and strewn with debris, with hairdryers and hand dryers in the toilet bowl, broken pictures, a smashed vanity table and desk among the damage.

A flatscreen TV had been smashed to pieces, a shelf for tea and coffee had been ripped from the wall and full-length mirrors on the wardrobes were broken.

The duty manager said Mr Gannon had booked online using a hotmail account and when he checked Mr Gannon's Facebook account, he recognised him as being the person who checked in.

The cost of the damage was €2,682.

In evidence, Mr Gannon said he had had around 10 drinks on the night before he went looking for his friend, who had got into an argument with a member of security staff at reception.

Mr Gannon said his own involvement in this was only to act as "peacemaker".

"The bouncer told us he was going to turn us upside down and bounce us off the street," Mr Gannon told the court.

"I got a bit of a fright. I told the manager I was going to leave".

Mr Gannon said he went back to his room, packed and left, leaving his friend there.

He hailed a taxi and had a cigarette, waiting for 15 minutes for his friend to come down.





DAMAGE

W hen he did, they left. Days later, when Garda Erin Lee from Pearse Street Station called him and told him about the damage, he was "shocked".

"I didn't see anything happen in the room, I didn't do anything in the room, there was nothing wrong with it when I left it," he said.

Defence barrister Rebecca Smith said there was no evidence the accused had committed the damage and another man had already pleaded guilty.

Judge Catherine Murphy said Mr Gannon's evidence was "extremely credible" and dismissed the charge.

aphelan@herald.ie

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