Coleraine hotel room was '˜sprayed with blood' - court told

A man who caused substantial damage because his blood was sprayed all around an hotel room has been given a conditional discharge after a judge accepted he had not deliberately thrashed the room like a 'rock star'.

Friday, 21st April 2017, 3:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:44 pm
Court hammer

Richard William Lyness (32), of Jervis Street, Portadown, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Friday and admitted causing criminal damage to light fittings, curtains, bedding, wallpaper, carpet and chairs at the Lodge Hotel in Coleraine by ‘intending to damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property would be damaged’.

A prosecutor said on July 31 last year police were called by staff at the hotel after one of the rooms was found “covered in blood”.

She said there was extensive blood spattering which cost the hotel £1,431 for both repairs and the money they lost over four days while they fixed the damage.

The prosecutor said the occupants had left but Lyness was tracked down through booking paperwork.

Defence solicitor Ciaran Shiels said it was a plea at the first opportunity and said it was not “wanton” destruction by his client who is in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance.

Mr Shiels said there had been an argument between Lyness and his ex-partner and he alleged a phone was thrown at Lyness who “took his frustration out on a light fitting and cut himself severely”.

He said curtains and bedding were among items replaced and the compensation figure also included a sum of over £400 which the hotel charged for not being able to let the room for four nights.

Mr Shiels said with the assistance of his family his client believed he could repay all of the compensation within six months.

District Judge Peter Magill noted the plea of guilty at the first opportunity and told Lyness: “This isn’t some rock star thrashing a hotel room. This is an unfortunate situation where clearly you injured yourself.”

The judge said there was quite a lot of blood but said the damage was not deliberately caused as he ordered Lyness to pay restitution and gave him a one year conditional discharge.