'Keying' causes over €1,000 of damage to garda's private car


A FATHER-of-two caused more than €1,000 worth of damage when he “keyed” a car that belonged to a garda.

David Zambra (36) was in a “bad state” when he scratched the new Audi while it was parked in a city centre street, a court heard.

Judge Kathryn Hutton adjourned sentencing to give him time to pay compensation.

Zambra, of Inagh Road, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to the car belonging to John O’Neill.

Garda Niall McLoughlin told Dublin District Court that the car was parked in Townsend Street at 4.30pm on September 27.

It was at the rear of Pearse Street Garda Station and when Garda O’Neill returned to it, he found it had been badly scratched.

The damage ran from the front driver’s door all the way along the side of the car. It cost €1,150 to repair.

An invoice for the damage was presented to the court.

The garda had bought the car in the UK only a couple of weeks before the incident, the court heard.

There was widespread CCTV coverage in the area and Zambra was identified as a suspect. He was later arrested and made full admissions.

The court heard he had previous convictions for offences including assault, trespass and breach of the peace.

Zambra had been in “a bit of a bad state” on the day in question, said his solicitor.

He told gardai: “I’m just terrible sorry, I wasn’t in my right state of mind.”

Zambra had chronic drug addiction issues in the past. He had been addicted to heroin since the age of 14. He was sent to a number of facilities in
Ireland, France and Spain, but returned at 16 and fell back into the same habits as previously, his solicitor said.

Zambra was on disability allowance and had expressed a desire to compensate the garda as best he could.

Judge Hutton adjourned the case to June 26 for payment of €500 compensation and said this should be done at the rate of €10-a-week.