Belfast Telegraph

Man refused drink at Belfast bar 'took umbrage' and threw paint at it, court hears

By Alan Erwin

A drinker turned away from a popular Belfast bar returned later and threw a tin of paint over its front, a court heard today.

Gary Neill was said to have targeted the Botanic Inn because staff refused to serve him.

A lawyer for the 42-year-old said he can't remember the incident but was "humiliated" by his actions.

Neill, of Wandsworth Crescent, Belfast, was due to be sentenced for causing criminal damage in March this year.

But the case was adjourned to allow an assessment of his work with alcohol addiction services.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard he "took umbrage" at not being served any more drink in the bar.

He decided to go back the next day and throw a ten-litre can of paint over the premises.

Denying that it was a pre-meditated act, Neill's lawyer stressed that he has no memory of what happened.

But she said he had apologised after being arrested and did not try to hinder the investigation.

"He's totally remorseful and humiliated by his behaviour," she added.

"He normally drinks at home as opposed to being in a social situation like that, but unfortunately his anger got the better of him that morning and he carried out this stupid act."

The court was told Neill's father has lent him £480 to go towards paying for the damage caused.

As the case was adjourned, his lawyer said the cash would be taken from him to ensure he does not spend it on drink.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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