A middle-aged man with Asperger’s Syndrome was conned by four men into paying more than €4,000 for work that was never done on his house.
One of the men involved in this scam - John Casey, 48, of Bay 5, St Michael’s halting site, Bypass, Killarney, County Kerry - was jailed for eight months today.
Judge Con O’Leary said he was not interested in the defendant’s offer of compensation and he could keep it. The judge refused to let him do community service instead of going to prison.
“I have always taken the most serious view of this sort of offence where people prey on vulnerable people in order to take advantage in some sneaky sort of way,” Judge O’Leary said.
He then imposed a sentence of eight months.
Casey indicated through his solicitor Shane Collins-Daly that he would be appealing the sentence.
Mr Collins-Daly said there were four men involved, including the ringleader and two younger men. The solicitor stressed that while Casey was involved he was not the organiser of the deception.
Judge O’Leary said the more he heard about it the worse it got.
"He was the lead helper and educating young people in taking advantage of vulnerable people,” the judge said.
Inspector Jason Lynch said the defendant and others approached the victim and said they were working on a neighbouring property and they could do repairs at his home.
In earlier evidence, four men said they would clean his chutes for €50 but they got €4,250 by deception on repeated visits by telling him his fascia and soffit would have to be replaced. No work was ever done.
That was the allegation in the case investigated by Detective Sergeant Tim Murphy and Detective Garda David Hickey who arrested and charged two men in Killarney today and charged them in relation to the case.
Casey pleaded guilty to obtaining €4,250 by deception at College Road, Cork, on various dates between February 9 and February 13.