Drunk man who smashed neighbour’s window with a golf club thought he was breaking into his own home, court hears

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A MAN who smashed up a neighbour’s house with a golf club thought he was breaking into his own home, a court heard.

Stephen Orchin (36) was “befuddled” by alcohol when he caused nearly £1,000 worth of damage to the other property in east Belfast, a judge was told.

Orchin, of Glenvarlock Street, was given 18 months probation for the late-night destruction on July 17 last year.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he went to the house on his street with a golf club, using it to break windows and a pane of glass in the front door.

“He returned a short time later with the golf club and continued to smash the windows,” a prosecution lawyer said.

“The total cost of repair for the damage was £942.”

During police interviews Orchin admitted smashing up the property, explaining that he was drunk at the time.

Defence counsel Mark Farrell confirmed his client admitted a charge of criminal damage.

According to the barrister the incident initially seemed more sinister than it turned out to be.

Describing Orchin as a man with a chronic drink problem, Mr Farrell said: “He was completely and utterly stupefied, befuddled with alcohol on this night.

“He actually thought he was breaking into his own home because he didn’t have a key.”

Counsel added: “There’s a very high level of contrition and remorse regarding this conduct, it was on one of his own neighbours.”

Sentencing Orchin to 18 months probation, District Judge Fiona Bagnall also ordered him to pay £942 in compensation.

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