Ex-postmaster confesses to pensions theft

A former postmaster at Crosshaven Post Office confessed at Cork District Court yesterday to charges arising out of the theft of pension payments to pensioners using the post office.

Adrian O’Driscoll, aged 66, of 4 Carrigdhoun, Waterpark, Carrigaline, Co Cork, yesterday entered a signed plea of guilty to the same charges against him arising out of the crimes.

The matter had been put back until yesterday for further directions from the DPP after Judge Leo Malone’s refusal to accept jurisdiction for the case.

While the sample charges relate to amounts totalling €2,737, Inspector Bill Duane said previously that it was alleged that “up to €53,000 was stolen during a number of years”.

He said the 14 charges before Cork District Court were only sample charges.

The charges before the court relate to amounts of around €230 on each theft charge. One refers to an amount of €130.

Judge Leo Malone said in July that he would not deal with the case at Cork District Court and that it would have to be dealt with at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Insp Duane previously said: “These charges relate to incidents at Crosshaven Post Office while the defendant was the master of the post office.

“It is alleged that they relate to incidents between March and July 2013 [the period covered by the sample charges], and that he took money from customers — state and widow’s pensions — without their consent.”

“These were vulnerable, aged, and trusting pensioners, and children’s allowance recipients,” said Insp Duane.

“If they had six pension payments built up he would tell them they had five.

“He would retain the final payment for his own use. He would use the recipient’s codes to access the money after they left,” Insp Duane alleged.

The defendant signed pleas of guilty to the 14 charges yesterday.

The case was adjourned for sentencing at the circuit court on October 28.


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