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Man smashed 12 televisions in Cork bookies 'for ruining his life'

Philip Barry, who was homeless at the time of the office, caused €15,000 worth of damage.

Image: samboal

A MAN WHO held Paddy Power bookmakers responsible for ruining his life stormed into one of their shops in Cork city and destroyed twelve 55-inch TV’s causing over €15,000 in damage, a court has heard.

Philip Barry of Ballincollig in Co Cork but currently of no fixed address, went into the Paddy Power shop on Cornmarket Street in Cork on 4 June 2019.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that the 32-year-old picked up a stool and smashed the TV screens in the shop in to smithereens.

Garda Aidan Noonan told Judge Brian O’Callaghan that Barry “blamed Paddy Power for ruining his life”. He said Barry smashed up the screens in front of a betting shop full of punters before leaving the premises.

The court heard that Barry suffers from alcohol addiction.

He voluntarily presented at the Bridewell Garda Station in Cork later that evening where he made full admissions in relation to the criminal damage he had caused to the Cornmarket Street shop.

Barry had a total of 103 previous convictions. These include eight previous convictions for criminal damage.

Defence barrister, Alison McCarthy said that Barry was homeless at the time of the offence. He had experienced difficulty accessing homeless services and got soaked to the skin while sleeping rough. He has been in custody since 5 June last.

He was granted bail by the High Court on his own bond of €100. However, he was unable to raise the funds to pay same.

McCarthy said the defendant lost his mother in 2016. He does not have a relationship with his family.

She said that Barry was deeply remorseful for his actions. She stated that her client had voluntarily presented himself to Gardaí. He also entered a guilty plea at an early stage.

McCarthy said that her client left school as a young teen. He hopes to get a job once the case concludes.

During a bail hearing earlier this year at Cork District Court, Barry was asked had he a problem with Paddy Power and he replied:

Yeah, I gambled. They destroyed most of my life.

At another stage in his bail application at Cork District Court, Barry said: “I had nothing to live for – I had no family, no friends. I did it to try and get some help. I didn’t want to be on the streets. I just lost it.”

Today at Cork Circuit Criminal Court Judge O’Callaghan said he was willing to give Barry one last opportunity to engage with the Probation Service.

“I’m doing it somewhat reluctantly given that the Probation Service already has enough to do – it’s for Mr Barry to engage with the Probation Service and not the other way around,” he said.

I will remand him in custody with consent to bail as determined by the High Court – I know he had a tough time but he cannot make life tough for everybody else either.

He adjourned the matter until 12 February 2020.

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Olivia Kelleher

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