A deaf victim of DoneDeal fraudster Patrick Matthews has been left “very hurt and angry” by his former flatmate’s deception.
That is according to the mother of the deaf man, Shane Carey, who yesterday gave her own victim impact statement on the effect the crimes of Mr Matthews have had on the Carey family.
The victim impact statement by Anne Carey was one of eight victim statements handed into Ennis District Court yesterday in relation to the crime spree committed by Matthews, aged 34, that spanned from March 10, 2015, to February 20, 2016.
As part of his crime spree, Matthews ripped off 25 individuals through bogus DoneDeal adverts for holiday home rental and one One Direction ticket.
At Ennis District Court, native of Miltown Malbay in west Clare, Patrick Matthews, pleaded guilty to a total of 115 charges where 30 victims were scammed out of a total of €26,282.
The 25 DoneDeal victims were €6,850 out of pocket as a result of Matthews’ theft.
Matthews, of Bishop Street in Cork City, went on his crime spree to fund debts that arose from his chronic addiction to “one armed bandits” gambling machines.
Matthew’s offences also involved stealing 18 cheques from Shane Carey, with whom he shared accommodation, with Matthews cashing 13 of the cheques totalling €7,252.
Insp Tom Kennedy said that the bank in question fully reimbursed Mr Carey the amount.
Insp Kennedy said that Matthews cashed five further cheques from Mr Carey at shops, creating an additional loss to the shops concerned of €2,250.
In her statement, read out in court yesterday by Judge Patrick Durcan, Anne Carey said that she is very proud of her son Shane and that he has never let his deafness be a factor in anything he did and has established a successful business.
However, Mrs Carey said: “I have seen a huge change in Shane’s personality where he now struggles with his deafness.
“He was always a very outgoing young man but I now see that he has turned more introverted and reserved and he struggles with trusting people.”
She added: “This whole ordeal has had a big impact on my family life and has been a distressing year for us all.”
Mrs Carey said that she interviewed Patrick Matthews for the shared accommodation “and I feel guilty that I subjected my son to Patrick Matthews”.
Solicitor for Matthews, Daragh Hassett told Mrs Carey: “Mr Matthews wants to apologise to your son for what he did. You probably won’t accept it but it is heartfelt.” Shane Carey wasn’t in court yesterday.
Gardaí only became aware of Matthews’ crime trail after a Co Tipperary woman, Helen McCormack, made a complaint to gardaí in Thurles after she paid over €75 to Matthews in June 2015 for a One Direction ticket that never materialised.
Judge Durcan yesterday further remanded Matthews on bail for the preparation of a Probation Report to September 14 when he will be sentenced for his crimes.
Matthews has 17 previous convictions, including eight theft offences.
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