Carer jailed for graffiti damage was identified by her ‘distinctive walk’

Judge Dermot Dempsey convicted and sentenced Kim Howard (45) to three months in prison.

Kim Howard was sentenced to three months for criminal damage

Eimear Cotter

A carer who graffitied the front door of a house with a permanent marker was identified on CCTV cameras through her distinctive way of walking, a court heard.

Kim Howard (45) denied causing the damage and claimed she was 20km away at the time. However, a taxi driver gave evidence he had dropped her nearby.

Judge Dermot Dempsey convicted and sentenced Howard to three months in prison.

The defendant, of Seatown Terrace in Swords, was found guilty of criminal damage to a front door of a house at Ballygarra Park in Garristown on November 20, 2021.

The owner of the house said he received a call from a neighbour that there was writing on his front door.

He checked the door, and found squiggles made with permanent marker on it

The victim said he took pictures of the damage, and cleaned it off with methylated spirits and household cleaner.

A neighbour provided CCTV footage of the incident, and when the victim viewed it he said he immediately identified Howard as the culprit.

He had known her for 40 years, he said, as she was a relative of his wife.

Swords District Court heard that Howard and the woman in the CCTV footage had the same distinctive gait.

A taxi driver said he brought Howard to Garristown on the day in question, and he dropped her opposite the church.

Garda John Lennon said he later contacted Howard about the incident, and she came to the garda station.

She was carrying the same bag in the CCTV footage as in the station, he said.

​In her evidence, Howard denied she was the person on the CCTV footage. She said she was “nowhere near the house” on the day in question, and was at home in Swords caring for her mother.

She also denied she had a similar gait as the culprit on the CCTV. However, Judge Dempsey found Howard guilty and jailed her.

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