Jail term for threatening casino boss


A MAN with a serious gambling addiction, who spent more than €200,000 in deposits collected for debs and grads dances, has been sentenced to 10 months in jail for threatening the owner of a casino where he lost the money.

Pat Brown (33), Incharahilly, Crookstown, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to demanding money with menaces from Finbarr Corkery jnr, the owner of the Macau casino, at Patrick’s Quay, Cork, on August 1st, 2009.

At Cork District Court yesterday, Det Garda Paul O’Sullivan told how Brown had developed a serious gambling addiction over the two years previous to the offence, during which time he said he had lost between €200,000 and €215,000 at the casino.

At about 11.05pm on the day in question, he approached the head of security at the casino, Tony O’Regan and demanded that the owner, Mr Corkery, pay him the thousands of euro which he believed that he owed him.

Det Garda O’Sullivan said that Brown told Mr O’Regan to tell him that if he didn’t give him back his money, he would get him and his family and he mentioned Mr Corkery’s wife by name and said he knew where they lived.

Brown told Mr O’Regan that if Mr Corkery did not come up with €3,000 immediately, he would get him and his family and he didn’t care if he was caught and had to do five or 10 years in jail for the offence, the court heard.

Mr Corkery told the court that it was a highly traumatic experience for himself and his wife and children.

Det Garda O’Sullivan said that he arrested Brown, who admitted making the threats, on August 12th. Brown said he had just wanted to frighten Mr Corkery and that he never intended carrying out the threats.

Det Garda O’Sullivan agreed with Brown’s solicitor Frank Buttimer, who said that his client had co-operated fully with gardaí and offered to plead guilty at an early stage.

Mr Buttimer told Judge Angela Ní Chondúin that Brown had a very serious gambling addiction which had led him to defraud students of dance deposit money; he was currently serving a five-year sentence for that offence.

Judge Ní Chondúin noted that Brown had saved the State the expense of a trial while he had also saved Mr Corkery and his family the trauma of having to testify. She sentenced him to 10 months in jail to run concurrently with the term he is already serving.