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Dublin: 4°C Friday 27 November 2020

US executive who went 'completely off his head' avoids jail for trashing hotel

Albert Santiago damaged fire extinguishers, chairs, a wooden table and artwork including a golden sphere.

Cork Courthouse
Cork Courthouse
Image: GoogleMaps

A US EXECUTIVE who went “completely off his head” on drink at his hotel in Cork endangering staff and guests by throwing a fire extinguisher five floors to the lobby has avoided a jail sentence.

Albert Santiago (54) of Beach Park, Illinois was staying at the Clayton Hotel in Lapps Quay, Cork, on the 12 of August 2018 when he went on his rampage. 

He damaged fire extinguishers, chairs, a wooden table, art work including a golden sphere and a glass panel. He also assaulted two people at the hotel.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court previously heard that Mr Santiago had been employed with a pharmaceutical company for 31 years and regularly travelled to Ireland for business. He was known and respected at the hotel. 

He pleaded guilty to 16 counts which included damaging the revolving front door of the hotel, damaging fire stations and walls, the door to his room and throwing a fire extinguisher from the fifth floor down to the lobby. He was also charged with being threatening and abusive, two counts of assault and a charge of endangering others.

Judge Sean O’Donnabhain heard that €16,000 in damage was caused to the hotel.

At Cork Circuit Criminal Court today the court heard that compensation has been paid in full. Mr Santiago has also raised €5000 for Cork Simon Community. 

Mr Santiago was not present in court arising out of a health diagnosis. A medical report was furnished to the court.

Defence counsel, Ray Boland, said that the behaviour was completely out of character and that he had lost his job on foot of the incident. 

He said that there was no suggestion of recreational drug use. Mr Santiago was however on prescription medication at the time of the incident. 

Mr Boland said his client went “completely off his head” having arrived on a flight from the States. 

The barrister stated that Mr Santiago had had a whiskey in his room before going out for a few drinks. He recollected being assaulted in the city and hotel staff said he arrived onsite injured and bleeding. 

Mr Boland said his client was “in such a condition of rage” that he began calling people the devil. 

He was shocked when the CCTV footage of the incident was shown to him and expressed deep regret and remorse arising out of his actions. 

Mr Santiago was set to take early retirement within four to five years but has now been left with little choice but to work as an independent contractor.

Mr Boland said that the defendant co operated fully with the garda investigation and had returned to Ireland voluntarily. He said the behaviour of the father of two on the night in question was “out of character.”

Judge O’Donnabhain applied the Probation Act in the case and said that the case was now over.

About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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