'foolish act' | 

German tourist told he’ll be jailed if he doesn’t pay for €10k Drogheda train graffiti damage

Tim Steybe (26) of Dusseldorf, Germany, pleaded guilty to a damage to property charge at McBride Station while on holiday

Stock photo© Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Argus

A 26-year-old student who spray-painted graffiti on a train carriage at McBride Station in Drogheda while on holiday, causing more than €10,000 damage, has been warned that if he doesn’t pay compensation he will be jailed for three months.

Tim Steybe, Kruppstar 95, Dusseldorf, Germany, pleaded guilty to a damage to property charge which occurred on 12 December 2021.

A bench warrant had been issued for his arrest after he failed to turn up at Drogheda Court on 23 January last.

Solicitor Eleanor Kelly said her client had been unable to attend on that occasion because of an injury he sustained.

The bench warrant was executed by arrangement at Dundalk Court on Wednesday last, 15 February when Mr Steybe travelled over from Germany.

The graffiti damage was caused to a train at Drogheda train station.

Sgt Jimmy McGovern presented evidence that two men were spotted by Irish Rail staff spray-painting carriages while the trains were parked up for the night.

They were confronted by members of staff and fled the scene. The defendant attempted to hide in bushes. He was arrested by gardaí and detained. He was the only person caught.

A German national who was on vacation in Ireland, Mr Steybe was brought before Drogheda Court the next day 13 December 2021 when he got bail after a contested bail hearing, the presiding judge noting that he was willing to plead guilty.

Sgt McGovern said the damage amounted to €10,332.91 and in reply to Judge Gerry Jones said he did not know precisely what was painted on the train carriage.

There were no previous convictions.

Solicitor Eleanor Kelly added that her client was a student who had been visiting his girlfriend at the time.

What he did was a ‘completely foolish act’. He had €500 with him which he knew was nowhere near the extent of the damage but it was all he could afford at the moment.

The defendant was anxious to avoid a conviction which the solicitor appreciated was ‘a huge ask’.

He had travelled from Germany as soon as he was allowed to fly owing to the injury.

Judge Jones put the case back to Drogheda Court on 4 December next for payment of €3,000 compensation to Irish Rail.

He said if that wasn’t done Mr Steybe would be going to Mountjoy Prison for three months.

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