‘Any words for the Irish taxpayer?’ Drumm shows no emotion after verdict

This was the third courtroom banker has been defeated in over the past four years

 Former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank David Drumm (51) leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court  where he was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud. Photograph: Collins Courts

Former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank David Drumm (51) leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

David Drumm paced the marbled, balconied-hallways around the circular Criminal Courts of Justice as he awaited the verdict of the jury on the fourth day of its deliberations.

On occasion, his phone pinged from a sent message.

Inside the jury room were nine men and three women, passing hour 10 of deliberations. They were deciding on the fate of the former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive after hearing more than 80 days of evidence on transactions, also circular in nature, used to keep the bank afloat.

Shortly before 3.10pm, word circulated outside courtroom 19, home to one of the longest running criminal trials in the State, that the jury had a verdict, prompting a rush of barristers, gardaí and journalists to the court.

Almost a decade since the transactions his defence counsel said he had authorised out of patriotic duty and responsibility of leadership (donning the green jersey and captaining his ship through a storm) to save the bank, Mr Drumm would find out whether a jury would find his involvement to be criminal.

They did.

They plumped for the prosecution’s case that Drumm was at the “man who called the shots” at the helm of a “massive con” and deliberately deceived depositors and investors about the true health of the bank when Anglo was actually heading for collapse.

It was €7.2 billion fraudulently healthier due to a “confidence trick” on the markets, the prosecution argued.

On Wednesday afternoon, the jury forewoman confirmed to the court registrar that the guilty verdicts on both counts – conspiracy to defraud and false accounting – were unanimous.

The 51-year-old Dubliner, sitting in the dock in a navy suit and open-collar blue shirt, showed no emotion, starting at Judge Karen O’Connor. Only once did he look down, after the jury left.

This was the third courtroom Drumm has been defeated in over the past four years, but it was the most serious arena.

He emerged from a Massachusetts bankruptcy court case in 2015 with his reputation in tatters after a judge effectively branded him a liar. He left another Boston court a year later in handcuffs and ankle shackles, bound for Ireland after conceding defeat to extradition to Dublin to face criminal charges.

Drumm walked out of the Criminal Courts of Justice on Wednesday a convicted man, remanded on bail, thanks to the judge ceding to a request “on humanitarian grounds” from his counsel for time to talk to his wife and children who are attending his daughter’s graduation ceremony at a college outside Boston.

A detective sergeant argued Drumm was a “serious flight risk”, mentioning Drumm’s knowledge of the sentences imposed on his three co-conspirators in 2016 (up to 3½ years for the €7.2 billion fraud), his extradition fight in the US and his failed attempts at bail.

The judge wanted to know where his wife was living. “In Skerries, ” replied Drumm’s counsel Brendan Grehan of the former banker’s home town in north Co Dublin. She was reassured but still imposed stricter bail terms.

In two weeks, almost a decade since he perpetrated his crimes and almost as long since the collapse of the bank he ran at a cost of €29 billion to the Irish people, Drumm will be told his sentence.

“Any words for the Irish taxpayer?” a journalist shouted at him as he left the courts.

A stressed-looking Drumm offered no reaction. He just kept walking towards a car with blacked-out windows.