A KERRYMAN who conned a 74-year-old living in an isolated home near Dunmanway of €300 had another two years added to a recent three-year jail term for a similar crime.
Noting extensive previous convictions of a similar nature for Denis O’Brien (29) of 2 Hazelwood Drive, Ballyspillane, Killarney, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin commented: ‘This man will continue with this kind of behaviour until his time in prison burns him out.’
Defence barrister Paula McCarthy said the most recent offence in Dunmanway was not committed on bail and did not have to carry a consecutive sentence.
The judge said: ‘In view of the circumstances, the pattern of offences and the hurt, it is a necessary sentence.’
Sergeant Michael Golden said, that on April 2nd, Denis O’Brien called to the isolated house and told the pensioner that his cattle trailer had broken down and he needed €200 to pay for the repair which he would repay later that day. He gave O’Brien €200 and the defendant took another €100 when the 71-year-old was not looking. None of the money was repaid.
O’Brien later admitted lying about the trailer and never paying back the money.
Last month Det Garda John Gleeson said on September 26th last Denis O’Brien called to the home of a 74-year-old woman in Cork city.
He claimed he was a nephew of her neighbour and he was doing work for her and she agreed to sign a cheque for €4,900 (to a man’s name, not Denis O’Brien).
‘He stole another blank cheque and €600 from her house.
‘Another man went to the AIB on Patrick Street later that day and cashed the €4,900,’ Det Garda Gleeson testified. The defendant returned to the 74-year-old the following day and she went to her local Credit Union where she withdrew €4,500 and handed it to Denis O’Brien.
Another man went to the bank and tried to cash the blank cheque which was then filled in but the funds were not in the account to meet this withdrawal.
On October 30th he offered to pay her back but said he would be doing so with a €15,000 cheque but that first she would have to pay him €5,000 in cash.
Det Garda Gleeson said that the total amount for which the elderly woman was out of pocket was over €10,000 – which she had saved to pay for her own funeral.
O’Brien got five years with the last two years suspended for the first case.
For the second case relating to the Dunmanway pensioner, Judge Ó Donnabháim imposed a consecutive two years, leaving Denis O’Brien with a total jail term of five years.
Paula McCarthy, defence barrister, said the defendant was full of remorse. She said O’Brien, a father-of-five, had a cocaine addiction and mental health issues and was engaging with counselling in prison.