‘Beast from East’ appeals 15-month jail sentence

A 42-year-old Romanian man, labelled the ‘Beast from the East’ by a judge, is seeking to have his 15-month jail term reduced.

Auriel Dinca appeared at Ennis Circuit Court last week appealing against a 15-month jail sentence imposed on him last month by Judge Patrick Durcan.

Dinca came to the circuit court without a solicitor. Appointed solicitor John Casey said Dinca does not speak English and the appeal hearing would require an interpreter.

At Ennis District Court last month, Judge Patrick Durcan said Mr Dinca and his five months pregnant partner, Adriana Neagoe, aged 26, had flown into Ireland from Romania “seeking out vulnerable people with bank accounts and essentially cleared out the bank accounts”.

Judge Durcan jailed Dinca for 15 months and imposed a five-month suspended sentence on Ms Neagoe on condition that she leave Ireland within 14 days under supervision of the prison authorities.

The couple have addresses in their native Romania. Judge Durcan said he was not jailing Ms Neagoe as she had considerably fewer charges than Dinca, and no previous convictions for theft.

Jailing Dinca, Judge Durcan said: “People can’t come in from outside like the ‘Beast from the East’ we complained about earlier this year in a weather sense, and now we have it in a human form.

“It’s mind-boggling that people come in from Romania and target Ireland and experienced criminals come in here and target vulnerable people.”

The court heard €2,100 was stolen from Monica Donovan in Gort in April of this year; €2,571 from Ann O’Flaherty in Galway City last November; €2,400 from Kathleen Fitzgerald in February in Cork, and €3,080 from Tess Frost in Shannon in February of this year.

Insp Tom Kennedy said what occurred “was at the highest end of deceitful activity I’ve ever come across”.

Judge Tom O’Donnell adjourned Mr Dinca’s appeal to July 10 to that court and he was escorted back to jail by prison officers.

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