Man (29) charged with stealing €10,000 from vulnerable woman (74) refused bail

Co-accused charged with nine offences in relation to thefts from three pensioners

Co-accused John Moriarty (25) of Ballyspillane, Killarney, Co Kerry was charged with three offences in relation to the theft of monies from the 74-year-old woman at Dillon’s Cross. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/ Provision

Co-accused John Moriarty (25) of Ballyspillane, Killarney, Co Kerry was charged with three offences in relation to the theft of monies from the 74-year-old woman at Dillon’s Cross. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/ Provision

 

A man arrested as part of a Garda investigation into criminals posing as bogus tradesmen and scamming elderly people of cash has told a court that he was seeking bail to look after his sick mother as he was her main carer.

Denis O’Brien (29), from Hazelwood Drive, Ballyspillane, Killarney, Co Kerry, told Cork District Court that he was the main carer for his mother, who suffers from chronic lung disease and emphysema.

And Mr O’Brien promised to turn up in court if he was granted bail and pledged to have no contact with a vulnerable 74-year-old woman from whom he is accused of stealing more than €10,000 in a scam.

Det Sgt Kieran O’Sullivan gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution in relation to Mr O’Brien, who was charged with a total of four theft offences arising from an incident in Dillon’s Cross in Cork last month.

Mr O’Brien is charged with stealing €600 in cash, stealing a cheque for €4,900 and with stealing a blank cheque, all from the woman in Brian Dillon Park on September 26th, and with stealing €4,900 in cash from her on September 27th.

Det Sgt O’Sullivan said that gardaí were objecting to bail for Mr O’Brien, describing him as “a man of means”, having seen where he was living in Killarney in the course of a search before arresting him on Saturday.

He was objecting to bail for Mr O’Brien on the basis he feared he would not stand trial if granted bail but would abscond to avoid conviction such was the strong evidence against him including CCTV footage tying him to the crime.

Det Sgt O’Sullivan said he was also basing his objection on the belief that Mr O’Brien would interfere with witnesses, namely the injured party who was a vulnerable and elderly woman whom he alleged Mr O’Brien had targeted.

He said he was basing this belief on the fact Mr O’Brien knew where the woman lived, having allegedly called there before the incident at the centre of the charges and the fact that he had the woman’s phone number.

Examined by his solicitor, Eddie Burke Mr O’Brien said he didn’t know where the woman lived and didn’t have her mobile phone number and he promised to stay out of Cork city and abide by any bail conditions imposed by the court.

But Judge Olann Kelleher refused Mr O’Brien on a number of grounds including preventing him committing further offences and he remanded him in custody to appear again at Cork District Court on October 14th for the DPP’s directions.

Earlier, Det Garda Brian Murphy had charged a co-accused, John Moriarty (25) of Ballyspillane, Killarney, Co Kerry with a total of three offences in relation to the theft of monies from the 74-year-old woman at Dillon’s Cross.

These included possessing a cheque stolen from the woman and stealing €4,900 from her by cashing it on September 26th and possessing a stolen cheque belonging to her on September 27th, all at AIB Bank, Patrick Street, Cork

Det Garda Murphy also charged Mr Moriarty with possessing a stolen cheque belonging to an 86-year-old woman and stealing €4,900 from the woman by cashing the cheque at Bank of Ireland, Little Island on September 3rd.

Earlier, Det Garda Dave Hickey charged Mr Moriarty with four counts of theft of sums of €4,500, €3,000, €5,000 and €3,500 from an 80-year- old man at Lisieux Park in Glasheen on September 7th, 9th, 12th and 13th.

Gardaí did not seek to have Mr Moriarty remanded in custody and Judge Kelleher remanded him on bail on a number of conditions including he reside at his home address and sign on three times a week at Killarney Garda Station.

Judge Kelleher also made it condition of Mr Moriarty’s bail that he have no contact with any of the injured parties or with his co-accused, Mr O’Brien and that he stay out of Cork city until he appears in court again on November 4th.