Man ordered to compensate Cork hostel after he 'lost the head' over damaged bike lock

“During the altercation he swung a fire extinguisher at the assistant manager. He believed he would have been struck if he had not ducked out of the way.”
Man ordered to compensate Cork hostel after he 'lost the head' over damaged bike lock

The court heard that the lock on his bicycle had been cut in order to move it as it was deemed a hazard. File picture: Denis Minihane

Cutting a lock to remove a bicycle that was causing an obstruction in a hostel resulted in a violent reaction by the bike owner who smashed a large amount of property and swung a fire extinguisher in the direction of a manager.

Khalid Billel, 30, who is now living in Galway, was living at the Glenvera hostel on Wellington Road, Cork, and pleaded guilty to a charge of causing criminal damage to the hostel on October 2, 2021.

Inspector Anne Marie Guiney outlined the background to the incident for Judge Marian O’Leary at Cork District Court. The defendant first smashed the living room window and went on to smash other items in the premises to a total of €1,500 worth of property.

Defence solicitor, Donal Daly, said the accused had no previous convictions of any kind.

“He got irate and lost the head about damage to his €100 lock to his bike. He was never in trouble before or since.

“He had a bicycle in the hostel before and it was stolen. He went off and bought another bike. It was his only means of transport. The bike was of inordinate value to him. They (management at hostel) removed it. They deemed it a fire hazard.

I accept 100% he completely lost the head. He accepts his reaction was extreme. While his actions were extreme they are not inexplicable.

“He is earning €400 a week now (in Galway). He is willing to pay back the hostel for the damage,” Mr Daly said.

The solicitor asked for a lengthy adjournment for the compensation to be gathered. Judge O’Leary agreed to put it back for seven months for compensation and penalty. The judge said there would be no further adjournment after that.

Insp. Guiney said the accused smashed a large living room window from inside by hitting it with a chair and it sent shards of glass flying on to the footpath and the road below.

“He had become irate having discovered that the lock on his bicycle had been cut in order to move it. It was deemed a hazard. He had been given numerous warnings but failed to do so and he was not in compliance with the rules of his accommodation.

“During the altercation he swung a fire extinguisher at the assistant manager. He believed he would have been struck if he had not ducked out of the way.” Items smashed or damaged included windows, a JVC radio, a toaster, a mirror and plumbing for a water purifier in the dining room.

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