Homeless teen booked into a €200-a-night four star hotel

A teenager who found himself homeless booked himself into a €200 a night four star city hotel, Galway District Court was told.

Nineteen-year-old Sultan Surami of 10 Leas na Mara, Ballymoneen Road found himself before the court on a charge of criminal damage to the hotel room and being in possession of €1,100 worth of cannabis.

Gardaí stopped a taxi on the Headford Road on July 20 last year and found Surami, a back-seat passenger, in possession of the controlled drug.

It also heard that Surami had caused €200 worth of damage to a hotel room in the Clayton Hotel on May 4 last.

Sarumi pleaded guilty to both the possession of the controlled drug and to the criminal damage.

Sergeant Finbarr Philpott, prosecuting, told the court that hotel staff had called Gardaí when they realised the room was over capacity. On arrival the Gardaí found a number of people in the room, which had been booked and paid for by Surami. There was a broken night shade and broken glass in the room, damage which amounted to a total of €200.

Sarumi also pleaded guilty to being in breach of the Public Order Act at Ballybane by being drunk in a public place on May 2 last.

Defence solicitor Brian Gilmartin said his client was originally from Nigeria and had booked into the hotel when he had nowhere else to stay, but that the damage had been done while he had left the room.

His client had fully co-operated with the Gardaí, he said.

Judge Mary Fahy expressed surprise that a person would book into a €200 a night four-star hotel when they had nowhere else to go.

Surami, who appeared in court while in custody for an alleged assault charge which is to be dealt with at a future court hearing, was sentenced to a total of eight months in prison, as well a €100 fine for the public order offence.