Man who pulled syringe on gardai thought he was fighting demons

Bedford Lane in Temple Bar where the incident took place (Image via Google Maps)
Bedford Lane in Temple Bar where the incident took place (Image via Google Maps)

A man who was hallucinating and believed he was fighting off demons when he pulled a syringe on gardai has been sentenced to five years in prison.

When gardaí came across Trevor Curtis (35) in a lane way in Dublin city centre he was screaming into the air “fuck off, don't come near me”.

Curtis of no fixed abode pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a syringe to threaten injury or intimidate another on Bedford Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin on April 14, 2014.

He also pleaded guilty to the robbery of a betting shop on Wicklow Street, Dublin on October 27, 2014.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed sentences totalling five years and suspended the final year. He also backdated the sentence to 2014 when Curtis went into custody.

The court heard that during the first offence after injecting himself with the head shop drug “Snowblow” Curtis believed he was being attacked by demons and was fighting them off.

Garda Paul Gray agreed with Leona Frawley BL, defending, that this tallied with what he saw on the night.

He testified that when he arrived in the lane he saw Curtis with a syringe in his hand. He told Curtis to drop the syringe but Curtis began waving it around aggressively and the garda then pepper sprayed Curtis.

Curtis has 43 previous convictions including three for this same offence. He was also previously jailed for a Dublin robbery and received a suspended sentence at Longford Circuit Court for robbery.

During the robbery in 2014 Curtis jumped over the counter of the shop and pointed a syringe at the pregnant woman working there, the court heard.

He told her: “I won't hurt you, just give me the money.” She handed over €355 in cash and he fled, telling her: “Sorry love, I'm an addict, I need it”.

Curtis had made no attempt to cover his face or hide his identity during the robbery. He was on bail when he committed the robbery.

By Declan Brennan and Conor Gallagher