Passenger who smashed 14 Glider ticket machines in west Belfast avoids jail – The Irish News

A passenger who destroyed 14 Glider ticket machines while using the service to travel around west Belfast has avoided immediate imprisonment.

Bernard Dorrian, 41, was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence for damaging screens with a hammer or his fists.

The total cost of repairing the machines attacked during the three-hour standstill period was almost £4,000.

Dorrian, of Aspen Walk in Dunmurry, admitted damaging Translink installations on March 28 last year.

Belfast District Court heard that between 4.30pm and 7.15pm there were attacks on 14 Glider ticket machines on the west Belfast route.

Bus stops attacked included the Children’s Hospital, Twin Spires, Beechmount, Casement, Upper Dunmurry and Clonard.

“CCTV footage from 12 bus stops showed Mr Dorrian getting out of the Glider and smashing the screens with a handheld instrument,” the prosecution barrister said.

“Once he was seen punching a machine.”

Dorrian was observed moving from stop to stop, damaging each installation before returning to the glider.

“14 ticket machines remained unusable,” the prosecutor added.

Dorrian initially denied responsibility for the incident during police interviews, claiming that surveillance footage showed someone else who looked like him.

However, he ultimately pleaded guilty and admitted his guilt before the trial.

Defence lawyer Joel Lindsay told the court his client suffers from a mental illness that causes auditory and visual hallucinations.

Describing how Dorrian also coped with the breakdown of his relationship, the barrister added: “He says he is ashamed.”

District Judge Steven Keown expressed doubts about whether he expressed remorse.

However, taking into account the accused’s health condition and his possible admission of guilt, the judge decided not to send him to prison.

Mr Keown sentenced the man to 10 months in custody, suspended for three years.

He warned Dorrian: “If something like this happens during this period, you will go to prison for a long time.”

The judge also ordered him to pay £500 compensation to Translink.