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Back-packer described as ‘unhappy’ smashed Co-op store’s window

March 7th, 2024 11:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

Back-packer described as ‘unhappy’ smashed Co-op store’s window Image

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A MAN who smashed a window with his backpack at a Drinagh Co-op store in Schull has agreed to return to his native Germany, a court recently heard.

Tim Forstner (23) of Dunkelly West, Goleen pleaded guilty at Bandon District Court to criminal damage. Gda Jonathan McCarthy told Judge James McNulty that at 2.15pm on February 14th last, staff at Drinagh Coop in Schull were reopening the shop after the lunch break when they observed the defendant.

‘He was smashing his backpack on the ground and spilled a bottle of hand cream all over the ground. He then smashed his bag against the shop window, causing extensive damage to it,’ said Gda McCarthy.

‘Quite a lot of force was used to drive the glass in.’

The court heard that the man has no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Myra Dinneen said her client was co-operative with gardaí on the day and was due to travel back to Germany that Sunday.

‘He lived in an isolated place and went to charity shops to survive. He is originally from Munich where his mum and dad still live.

‘He works in software development and then went off travelling and came to West Cork about 10 months ago,’ said Ms Dinneen. ‘He ended up in a West Cork retreat centre doing some gardening and then moved on. That day he went to Schull and was really angry and frustrated and he bore no ill-will to anyone working in Drinagh Co-Op.’

She said he apologises for breaking the window and it wasn’t his intention to do so.

‘He does need to go home and his mother has booked a flight. He has no money to pay for the broken window.’

Judge McNulty noted that the defendant was ‘depending on the kindness of strangers’ and that there was not a lot of prospect of restitution as he is penniless.

‘I dare say Drinagh Co-op have insurance to cover the window and could probably say they are cash-rich and can absorb the loss,’ said the judge.

He said he wouldn’t dismiss the charge, but that Mr Forstner could leave with a conditional discharge in his own bond of €100 with no probation services supervision.

‘The essential condition is that he will return to Germany on Sunday as planned. Maybe he might explain the cause of his unhappiness and emotional turmoil and do something about it.’

Judge McNulty said that if Mr Forstner doesn’t leave the country as agreed, then gardaí can bring him back into court.

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