A Dublin man who rang RTE’s Gerry Ryan Show seeking psychiatric help after he broke into a home to act out his fantasies about harming women will be sentenced later.
George Turner (aged 40) had been a good husband and father for 16 years before he was diagnosed with depression and began abusing prescription medicine to deal with the condition.
He rang the Gerry Ryan Show to say he’d broken into a house to act out his violent thoughts a few days previously but left when he discovered there was only a male occupant present.
Turner, of Phibsboro Road, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trespassing at a nearby Avondale Road house with intent to commit assault on November 21, 2009.
He has 10 previous convictions including seven theft and fraud offences. His most recent conviction dates back to 1999.
Detective Sergeant James Byrne revealed that the late Mr Ryan and his producers conducted an off-air interview with Turner because they were concerned about the nature of his call.
They took his name and telephone number and contacted gardaí.
Det Sgt Byrne agreed with Mr Shane Costelloe BL, defending, that before his client rang the Gerry Ryan Show gardaí had no identifiable suspect for the break-in several days before.
The detective sergeant agreed that Turner had willingly provided his name and number to the show’s producers in a call that had seemed like a “cry for help”.
He further agreed that Turner had been discharged from St Brendan’s Psychiatric Hospital around that time and hadn’t felt in control of his impulses.
Det Sgt Byrne told Mr Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that a resident at the Avondale Road premises was home alone and had gone downstairs after his internet connection was suddenly interrupted.
He went into the sitting room, noticed the internet router had been unplugged and a number of games consoles had been bundled beside the television.
The house occupant then went into the hallway and met an intruder with a pillow over his face.
He ran out the door, leaving the intruder in the hall, and rang gardaí once he was across the road.
Det Sgt Byrne said Turner denied unplugging the router during interview and said he fled once he discovered the lone house occupant was male.
Turner explained that he had normal thoughts during the day but fantasised about harming women at night.
He said he had walked past the Avondale Road premises to meet a friend, noticed an upstairs light was on and broke in through an open downstairs window because he wanted to harm someone.
He apologised for what he did and said he needed help.
Turner’s estranged wife told Mr Costelloe that she still had a good relationship with him and that he had been a good husband and father till he was diagnosed with depression.
Ms Sonia Turner said her husband’s life became “chaotic” as he took advantage of his prescribed medication and grew dependant on the tablets.
She said he admitted himself into hospital twice to try and get help for his psychotic thoughts.
She added that since being in custody her husband no longer has the same violent impulses and she hoped there would be a space for him at a residential drug treatment programme so he can tackle his prescription drug addiction.
Judge Desmond Hogan acknowledged Turner needs psychiatric help and commended his wife for supporting him through his problems.
The judge said he had “no doubt” that Turner had “goodness” in him because he knew his fantasies were wrong and “went to great lengths to get help.”
He adjourned the matter for sentencing in October.