Man jailed for stealing from pensioners while impersonating a garda

Judge describes accused’s targeting of elderly vulnerable people as ‘despicable’ behaviour

John ‘Buddy’ O’Brien (40), of Hillview Drive, Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick pleaded guilty to  six separate offences on two different dates when he appeared at Waterford District Court on Tuesday.

John ‘Buddy’ O’Brien (40), of Hillview Drive, Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick pleaded guilty to six separate offences on two different dates when he appeared at Waterford District Court on Tuesday.

 

A Co Limerick man has been sentenced to 20 months in jail after he pleaded guilty to a number of offences including impersonating a garda and stealing from pensioners living alone.

John “Buddy” O’Brien (40), of Hillview Drive, Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, pleaded guilty to a total of six separate offences on two different dates when he appeared at Waterford District Court on Tuesday.

O’Brien admitted to impersonating a garda and to stealing €150 from a pensioner at Ballygriffin, Kilmacow, Co Kilkenny, on January 14th, 2017.

He pleaded guilty to impersonating a garda and stealing €170 from a pensioner at Leamybrien, Co Waterford, two days later on January 16th.

O’Brien also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and driving without a valid driving licence at Leamybrien on the same occasion when he appeared before the court.

103 previous convictions

Inspector Anthony Dineen of Waterford Garda Station told the court that O’Brien had 103 previous convictions, including more than 50 for theft, burglary or making gain by deception.

Judge Kevin Staunton described O’Brien’s targeting of the two elderly pensioners as “despicable” and he sentenced him to two consecutive 10-month terms for the two theft offences

He backdated the first 10-month term to April 23rd when O’Brien was first taken into custody. He gave him two concurrent six-month terms for twice impersonating a garda.

He also sentenced him to a five-month concurrent term for driving without insurance and banned him from driving for two years.

Last month, O’Brien was given a nine-month sentence by Judge James O’Connor at Tralee District Court after he pleaded guilty to a burglary at premises on Valentia Island on July 12th, 2016.