Man jailed for duping family of cervical cancer sufferer out of money

Husband of the late Julie Dingivan duped out of €1,120 for hemp oil ‘cure’

Industrial hemp growing at a farm in Belgium. The court heard John Griffin (38) made  claims about the healing powers of hemp oil. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Industrial hemp growing at a farm in Belgium. The court heard John Griffin (38) made claims about the healing powers of hemp oil. Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

A man has been jailed for nine months after he pleaded guilty to dishonestly duping a husband whose wife was dying of cervical cancer out of €1,120 for hemp oil that he claimed would cure the young mother of three.

Fermoy District Court in Co Cork has heard that John Griffin (38) preyed on Paul Dingivan just a month before his wife Julie died in April 2017.

Julie Dingivan (36) of Fermoy was one of the woman impacted by the CervicalCheck controversy.

She was diagnosed in 2013. In 2018 the HSE indicated to her husband Paul that a clear smear test his wife received in 2009 was found to be inaccurate following a review in September 2016.

The court heard Griffin, of Connolly Avenue in Mallow, Co Cork, was in a pub in Fermoy on March 1st, 2017 when he began telling people there about the healing power of hemp oil which he claimed had cured his own testicular cancer.

Paul Dingivan received a call from his brother and he went to the pub having been informed about the claims being made by Griffin. Griffin told Dingivan he had an unlimited supply of hemp oil.

Griffin pleaded guilty that he dishonestly by deception induced Paul Dingivan to hand over €1,120 believing that he would supply hemp oil to him with the intention of making gain for himself at MacCurtain Street, Fermoy on March 1st 2017.

Insp Tony O’Sullivan told the court that Julie Dingivan had come off all treatment for her cancer at the time of the offence. She had been told she only had a short amount of time to live.

Insp O’Sullivan said that Mr Dingivan agreed to buy the hemp oil from Griffin because he “would have done anything to keep his wife alive”.

Griffin told Mr Dingivan to meet him in his car in MacCurtain Street and that he would be back with the oil after he had been given the €1,120.

Insp O’Sullivan said that Mr Dingivan soon realised that Griffin was not coming back. Gardaí tracked the defendant down after viewing CCTV footage.

Mr Dingivan said in evidence that his wife had come off chemotherapy in 2017 after years of treatment had failed to contain her cancer. He stated that when his brother contacted him to say there was a man in his pub talking about cures for cancer he decided to check it out.

The court heard that Griffin had nine previous convictions. Four of the convictions were for theft which appeared to involve some type of deception.

His solicitor Matthew Bermingham said his client wanted to apologise to Mr Dingivan. He added that Griffin was remorseful for his actions.

Judge Alec Gabbett sentenced Griffin to nine months in prison. He said the crime was an “awful” thing to do to the Dingivan family.