Polish man sentenced in his absence for damage to Ballina hotel

A Polish man, Daniel Novac, 77 Oakfield Park, Sligo, who caused damage to a hotel bedroom and threatened a member of staff was given a three-month sentence for public order offences and a one-month sentence for criminal damage to run consecutively in his absence at Ballina District Court.

Garda Petrina Devery told the court that on July 6 2008 at 6.05am she got a call from the manager of the Ramada Hotel in Ballina, John Fallon, saying that criminal damage had been caused to the hotel and a member of staff had been threatened by a group of Polish men. Garda Devery said that she with Mr Fallon went to the room the men were staying in and when they entered they saw that there was a lot of damage done to the room including broken light fittings, some of the door frame had been torn from the wall and other fixtures and fittings had been damaged. During the night the three men approached the night porter and demanded a bottle of vodka off him at 3.55am, and when he told them that it was to late to sell it to them they threatened him.

In his evidence the porter, Maximus Betsleves, told the court that he came on shift at 11pm that night and at 3.55am he was approached by the men and when he refused to sell them a bottle of vodka Novac threatened him, saying, “Do you care for your life?” He continued, saying that he was so fearful that he gave them the vodka. Over the course of his shift a number of complaints were lodged by different residents about the noise the three men were making and he tried to get them to keep quiet a number of times, but with no success. He told the court he called the gardaí earlier that night and they came out and spoke to the men, but as soon as the gardaí left they continued to cause a disturbance.

In his evidence Mr Fallon told the court that he got a call at around 6am when another member of staff came on duty to say there was a problem with some of the guests causing a serious disturbance, he called the gardaí and arrived just after Garda Devery did and they went to the room together where they saw the damage caused to the room and the hotel suffered other financial loses because of the incident as he had to give a discount to a number of guests due to the damage caused.

Judge Devins convicted and fined Novac €3,000 for public order offences and sentenced him to three months in prison, she also convicted and fined him €500 for criminal damage and sentenced him to one month in prison to run consecutive with the three months she had already imposed.

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