An elderly man and his son were left “terrorised” by a burglary when two men broke into their home, assaulted them, and spattered blood over the interior of the house.
Piotr Zuberek (26), with an address at Inishannagh Park, Newcastle, received a suspended sentence and community service for two counts of assault, as well as burglary and possession of cannabis, at Galway Circuit Court last week.
He was arraigned and pleaded guilty to the charges last November, and was brought back for sentencing last week.
Garda Parick Quirke gave evidence that on June 13 of 2018 he was called to reports of a burglary at a house in Ard na Coiste on the Headford Road at around 4am.
The owner of the house, a man in his 70s, said that two men forced their way in through the back door.
One of the men, Piotr Zuberek, punched him in the face, and the man’s adult son told the garda he was also attacked when he tried to intervene.
When they were inside the house the men went around smashing doors and blinds and deliberately spattering them with blood to damage them the injured man told Garda Quirke.
Zuberek was wearing a blue hoodie the elderly man said, and he was able to point him out to Garda Quirke straight away because he was standing nearby across the green in the estate.
Another witness in a different who was woken up by the “ruckus” and went to investigate also pointed him out to the Garda after seeing the men flee the house.
Zuberek became aggressive when he was being arrested Garda Quirke said, resulting a struggle where the officer ended up on the ground to restrain him.
Cannabis with a value of €160 was found on hos person at the time of the arrest.
When interviewed by gardaí he told them that he had been drinking whisky and beer, as well as taking drugs, and couldn’t really remember the events of that night.
“I went fucking crazy, I don’t really know what happened,” he said in the interview.
Samples were taken of the blood scattered over the interior of the home, and DNA testing showed that it was the defendant’s.
In a victim impact statement read to the circuit court by garda Quirke, the 70 year old victim saud that “since the incident I have been afraid to go outside the door when it’s dark”.
Gatda Quirke said that the two have been living in fear since the incident.
A barrister for Zuberek said that his client was remorseful and had written a letter of apology.
He also brought €500 to court for the victim as a token of that remorse, which Garda Quirke said would be welcomed by the victim.
The defence said that Zuberek, who is a Polish national, has been in full employment since coming to Ireland in 2015.
This wasn’t a premeditated action he said, but a loss of self control from taking too much drink and drugs.
The court heard that Zuberek has 12 previous convictions here in Ireland, mostly road traffic offences, but also including theft and obstruction of a peace officer.
However he also told the probation services unprompted that he had a prior conviction in Poland for violence involving alcohol.
Judy Rory McCabe said that this calls into question whether the incident was truly out of character for him.
The judge said that he had “created mayhem” and “terrorised” the occupants of this house, with no apparent explanation other than he was very drunk.
“To describe this behaviour as bizarre is an understatement,” the judge said of the burglary.
There was no apparent explanation for why he did this the judge said, other than that he had been drinking.
The judge imposed two year prison sentence on Mr. Zuberek for the burglary charge and suspended the sentence for three years.
He was also ordered to perform 240 hours of community service for the assault charges with two months in prison on each in lieu.