Man addicted to prescription drugs broke into Westdoc

A man who had a severe addiction to prescription drugs, so much so that he blew €147,000 on these drugs and alcohol over the past few years, broke into Westdoc in Ballina in an attempt to steal medicine.

Declan Hopkins snr, 5 St Muredach’s Terrace, Ballina, was found by gardaí in the Westdoc premises on January 8 2013 at 3.10am. Hopkins told gardaí that he was off his head on drugs. He told them that he initially tried to gain entry and then went home to get an implement to smash the window. Damage of €250 to the window was caused. Hopkins also tried to smash a medicine cabinet, but could not gain access to the secured cabinet.

The defendant was also before court for the obstruction of a garda on November 20 2012. Hopkins obstructed Detective Garda Pat Ruane as he arrested Hopkins’ son. Hopkins told the garda to let his son go and ran at the garda. He pulled at the garda’s arm which broke his grip and Hopkins’ son ran away. Hopkins was abusive and aggressive and said that if any gardai came to his door he would stab them.

The 41-year-old married father of four has three previous convictions.

The defendant told the court that over the years he spent all money from a compensation claim on drink and drugs due to family tragedies. He said that prescription drugs took over his life and he was taking 300mg a day of Oxycontin, but had been clean for the last three months. The defendant said that if he got inside the medicine cabinet in Westdoc that night he would have taken all the tablets and killed himself.

“Drugs your honour have destroyed my whole life,” Hopkins said. Judge Mary Devins said “No, you have destroyed your whole life .” Hopkins said that was 14 years of his life that he could not get back and he was now trying to make amends.

Judge Devins remanded him on continuing bail to March 25 2014 and gave the State liberty to re-enter. The judge wished him good luck.


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