Building contractor conned elderly man out of €17,500

An 85-year-old man was conned into handing over €17,500 to a Killarney building contractor and yesterday the builder pleaded guilty to a theft charge arising out of the offence.

The case against Patrick O’Brien, of 122 Ballyspillane, Killarney, Co Kerry, was listed for trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

Ciarán O’Loughlin, defending, asked to have O’Brien arraigned before any jury was sworn in and O’Brien pleaded guilty inducing the victim to pay him €17,500.

The charge stated the theft took place September 2 and September 4 at an address in Mallow, Co Cork.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin asked about the age of the victim in the case and was told that he was 85 years old.

Mr O’Loughlin asked if sentencing could be adjourned for a year to give the defendant an opportunity to gather compensation.

Imelda Kelly, prosecuting, said the State was not opposed to adjournment for that purpose but suggested an adjournment for six months rather than a year.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “I am certainly not going to agree to a 12-month adjournment.” He said he would put sentencing back until November 3.

“He can put his best foot forward or no foot forward, it is up to him but it will be dealt with peremptorily on that date,” the judge said.

After being told that the accused was a building contractor, the judge said that, in his understanding, the next six months of the year would be the busiest for builders, giving the accused the greatest opportunity to gather compensation for the victim.

Ms Kelly said bail conditions requiring the accused to sign on every day at his local garda station could be relaxed to a weekly signing requirement between now and the date for sentencing.


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