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Man who broke locks at Dublin public toilets ‘fancied himself as some kind of Robin Hood’

The defendant’s barrister told Swords District Court the incident happened during lockdown when the beach was busy and the queues for toilets were long so he “took matters into his own hands in what he saw as the public interest”.
Swords District Court

Swords District Court

Fiona MagennisFingal Independent

A construction worker who damaged the locks on the public toilets at Skerries Harbour “fancied himself as some kind of Robin Hood”, a court has heard.

When confronted by gardaí at the scene, John Nesbitt (40) clenched his fists, pushed his chest out and told them to “get the f**k out of here”.

The defendant’s barrister told Swords District Court the incident happened during lockdown when the beach was busy and the queues for toilets were long so he “took matters into his own hands in what he saw as the public interest”.

Nesbitt, with an address at Quay Street, Balbriggan, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage and engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour at Harbour Road, Skerries on June 6 last.

He also admitted being intoxicated in a public place.

Judge John O’Leary convicted Nesbitt and sentenced him to one month in prison.

Sergeant Patricia McGarrity said on the date in question gardaí received reports about a male breaking the locks of the public toilets at the harbour.

The toilets had been locked by the council and when gardaí attended the scene they found the locks had been damaged and removed.

A number of members of the public identified John Nesbitt as the person responsible for the damage.

The accused became very aggressive to gardaí when they attempted to speak to him about what happened, Sgt McGarrity said, clenching his fists and pushing his chest out while telling them to “get the f**k out of here”.

Nesbitt was arrested and brought to Balbriggan Garda Station where he continued to be abusive.

The defendant has four previous convictions, the court heard.

Ms Flannery said the incident happened during lockdown when one of the only social activities available was outdoor pints.

Nesbitt has indulged in quite a few of these on the day in question and was intoxicated.

The defence barrister said that as a result, perhaps with too much to drink, the accused had “fancied himself as some kind of Robin Hood”.

The beach was very busy that day and the queues for the toilets were long so he had decided to break the locks to open the public toilets in what he saw as the public interest.

She said thankfully the damage caused was minor as only the locks had been affected.

These cost €10 each and the accused had €20 with him in court by way of compensation, she added.

Nesbitt wishing to apologise for his behaviour, “it was inappropriate and he accepts that,” the barrister said.

Judge John O’Leary imposed a one month sentence for threatening and abusive behaviour at Balbriggan Garda Station.

The district court judge fined Nesbitt €200 for being intoxicated in a public place and applied the Probation Act in respect of the two criminal damage charges.


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