Ex-garda jailed for two years after admitting €50,000 theft

Noel Fitzhenry (46) comes from well known Wexford GAA family and pleaded guilty in court

A former Garda who pleaded guilty to the theft of more than €50,000 while a serving in the force has been sentenced to two years in prison.

A former Garda who pleaded guilty to the theft of more than €50,000 while a serving in the force has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Tue, Jul 15, 2014, 13:31

A former garda who pleaded guilty to the theft of more than €50,000 while a serving in the force has been sentenced to two years in prison.

A member of a well-known Wexford GAA family, Noel Fitzhenry (46) of Springmount, Rathnure, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, came before Wexford Circuit Criminal Court today for sentencing.

Fitzhenry (46) , who was stationed at Glynn Garda station, pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft involving a number of local people in the Glynn community between July 1st 2009, and June 1st, 2012.The thefts included sums of €8,000, two separate amounts of €10,000 and €19,400.

Supt William Carolan told Judge Barry Hickson that the defendant had indicated that he needed €180,000 for treatment in America for his wife whom he alleged was suffering from cancer.

Supt Carolan said the money was lodged and quickly removed from his account through an ATM or through withdrawals, while none of the money has been returned.

The defendant had served over twenty years as a member of An Garda Siochana. He was previously stationed in Dundalk and Wexford before serving in the one station in Glynn just outside Wexford town.

Fitzhenry is married with four children.

Defence counsel John Walsh said the money was not for a lavish lifestyle. The family found itself in financial difficulties and while at one stage they owned two houses – now taken by the financial institutions – at the present they live in rented accommodation.

Supt Carolan said the defendant was suspended from the Garda in 2012 and resigned earlier this month.

Mr Walsh said when the defendant was building his houses he had a total mortgage of €400,000, while the money obtained from neighbours was used to pay day-to-day bills.

He also said that the defendant had been hospitalised on several occasions due to his mental condition and added that his net income from work was €28 per week when all deductions were made.

The defendant comes from a well-known GAA family who are highly respected. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Hickson sentenced him to two years in prison on each of the first three counts, the sentences to run concurrently. However he suspended one year on each count. He entered a nole prosqui on remaining counts.