By Stephen Bourke
A man who splattered a launderette with his own blood during a failed attempt to steal cash to buy drugs has been jailed for one year for criminal damage.
Peter Little (42) of Drumcairn Parade, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to criminal damage at Alexander House, Tallaght, on September 24 and 25, 2020. He has 24 previous convictions, including ten convictions for theft.
Aideen Collard BL, prosecuting, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that the damage took place overnight at an automated laundromat at Alexander House in Tallaght over the two dates in September.
Garda Andrew Gibbons told Ms Collard that a cleaner arrived in the morning to find smashed glass on the floor and damage to a photo booth and payment machines.
Blood was also found throughout the damaged area.
Gda Gibbons says he formed the view someone had hurt themselves trying to steal money from the machines. Cleaning up and repairing the damage cost the launderette €730.52.
Little was arrested at home after analysis of blood samples identified him as a person of interest, and he was charged at Tallaght Garda Station.
Sarah-Jane O’Callaghan, BL, defending, said Little has a “serious” drug addiction which began when he was in his teens.
She said he had successfully managed to hold down jobs with Sky and UPS, and spent eight years in Spain detoxing – but relapsed after the death of one of his children.
“He caused the damage in order to get money to get drugs,” she told the court. “He didn’t get money – he got injured,” she said.
Little’s GP wrote to tell the court his patient was on a methadone course, receiving 60mg a day.
“He has dealt with his opiate dependency with significant spirit and fortitude, despite his personal difficulties.”
“His parents are still alive and would be devastated if they heard he’s back in court. They’re hell-bent on getting him to end his offending,” said Ms O’Callaghan.
Little pleaded guilty to criminal damage when he was arraigned at Tallaght District Court on April 30, last.
Judge Martin Nolan accepted the offence was at the “lower end of the scale” for the Circuit Court, but said Little had “a pretty long record”.
“Many good people have good things to say about him and that leaves me minded to consider a non-custodial disposition in this case,” he said. “But his record doesn’t allow that.”
Judge Nolan sentenced Little to one year imprisonment.
Little was previously sentenced to a pair of concurrent three-year sentences, with the final year suspended in both cases.
Those sentences had not lapsed at the time of the criminal damage to the launderette.
Wicklow District Court will consider reactivating the remainder of the suspended sentences when it sits in Bray on Tuesday May 18, next.