Criminal damage charge follows smashing of city defibrillator

A defibrillator was smashed in the centre of Cork City yesterday morning and the young man charged with the offence was arrested and remanded in custody for a week.

Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer represented John Waij, aged 20, of Gould St, Cork, at Cork District Court yesterday. Waij has no previous convictions but he is presently before the court for a catalogue of offences.

Garda Tim O’Sullivan said the accused was already facing 27 charges, including 11 counts of causing criminal damage and several for making hoax phone calls to the emergency services.

Garda O’Sullivan said Waij was arrested yesterday morning for causing criminal damage to the defibrillator, which is prominently displayed in protective casing on the wall of Penney’s on Cork’s Oliver Plunkett St.

Mr Buttimer said he was putting his cards on the table.

He said that the defendant’s mother phoned him earlier yesterday morning and that the defendant told him that he had got into difficulty the previous night in relation to an issue with the same defibrillator.

Judge Olann Kelleher has been dealing with the numerous charges against Waij over the past year and was told that the defendant required mental health services in relation to his autism.

As recently as the past week, the young man attended with the HSE to establish how they might advance the management of his medical difficulties, Mr Buttimer said.

Mr Buttimer said the defendant accepted that he damaged the defibrillator yesterday morning, and on Thursday night.

Waij said he wanted to put his CV together to get a job because he was bored.

Mr Buttimer said there was a formal application for bail yesterday.

Judge Kelleher said: “Unfortunately, I know the background very well. It is going on and on and on.

“It is a balancing act all the time (in terms of bail and offending).

“He has tipped the scales and I remand him in custody until Friday, May 25.

“I will finalise the bail application then.”

Mr Buttimer said he would be in communication with the HSE personnel dealing with the defendant, and the solicitor remarked that they had been most helpful and were making attempts to address the young man’s issues.


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