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Student jailed for 11 months for wrecking holiday home on St Patrick’s Day

The judge said he had no choice but to impose a custodial sentence.

File photo of Avon Ri homes
File photo of Avon Ri homes
Image: Google Streetview

A 22-YEAR-OLD pharmaceutical and healthcare student was sentenced to 11 months in prison for criminal damage to a rented house this week.

Zak Lyons of 30 Slievemore Road, Drimnagh, Dublin, appeared at Naas District Court on Thursday, charged with criminal damage, between 17 and 18 March 2014, at a rented house at a house on the Avon Ri Hotel property, Blessington.

Defence barrister, Sarah Connolly, said that her client only had €150 to offer as part of the €3,460 damages caused.

Ms Connolly told the court how Lyons, a third year student with no previous convictions, worked for six weeks over the Christmas season and now has a part-time job with 20 hours per week at a food delivery company.

Prosecuting Inspector Mel Byrne, outlined, how on St Patrick’s Day two years ago, a house was rented under Mr Lyons name.

Evidence was given that Blessington Garda Station got a call on Tuesday 18 March 2014 from the former manager of the Avon Ri Hotel. He reported that one of the houses had been “extensively vandalised”.

The court heard how “every room in the house had been damaged”.

Inspector Byrne said: “All the plugs had been pulled out of the walls. The lampshades were broken.”

Subsequently Lyons was arrested and brought to Tallaght Garda Station.

Judge Desmond Zaidan commented that Lyons has four bench-warrants, and the last one dated to Athy District Court on 22 September 2015.

Defence said that Lyons’s parents are of ‘modest financial means’ and are not in the position to give him a loan, adding that his mother is a full-time student.

Ms Connolly said:

Mr Lyons rented the property for him and friends. He said that he passed out with too much alcohol. Several people came and went that night, the damage was caused by these people. He is not the person who caused the damage, I would ask the court not to consider a custodial sentence.

Judge Zaidan said that the court would take into account his guilty plea but that he is left with no option but impose a custodial sentence.

He said: “This is every landlord’s nightmare.”

Judge Zaidan sentenced Lyons to 11 months for criminal damage with a consecutive three months for having the court to issue four bench-warrants for his arrest.

In the event of appeal, he was ordered to pay €700.

More: Man who wrote graffiti saying “Pakis out now” believed Muslims “wanted to take over and kill everyone”

Read: Man accused of possessing 67 allegedly stolen antique books said that he “can’t read too well.”

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