Three Irish men jailed in roof repair scam in Australia

The men tricked people, some aged in their 90s, into believing their roofs needed repair

The men first climbed onto roofs and damaged them, and then approached their elderly victims, offering to “fix” them.

The men first climbed onto roofs and damaged them, and then approached their elderly victims, offering to “fix” them.

 

Three Irish men in Perth, Western Australia, have been jailed for their part in a roof repair scam which targeted the elderly.

John Jason O’Brien (18), Thomas Kiely (19) and Desmond O’Reilly (23) tricked people, some aged in their 90s, into believing their roofs needed repair.

The men first climbed onto roofs and damaged them, and then approached their elderly victims, offering to “fix” them.

A man from the Perth suburb of Floreat was duped out of AU$22,000 (€15,106).

The Irish men drove some of the victims to the bank to withdraw money.

When the Irish group’s accommodation at a caravan park in the suburb of Hazlemere was raided in January, police found almost $65,000 in cash.

The men were then charged and detained at the Yongah Hill Detention Centre.

Initially 26 Irish people, including 19 women and children, were detained. Most were subsequently released and left Australia.

District court judge Laurie Levy said the scam the three men were convicted of was a “sophisticated scheme to defraud and target elderly people”.

He added that none of the three were the “driving force” of the scam, as others were also involved.

O’Brien was sentenced to 13 months jail, while Kiely and O’Reilly both received an eight-month sentence.