Pitch & putt star confesses driving robbers to brothel

The world’s number one pitch & putt player yesterday confessed to driving three men to and from the scene of a robbery at a brothel in Cork.

While John Walsh, aged 42, of 98 Ashmount, Mayfield, Cork, did not go into the premises at Cove St in Cork where two South American women were working as prostitutes, he admitted his part in the robbery.

Arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, he pleaded guilty to robbing the women of two laptops, two phones, and over €4,000 and £250 in cash. He admitted robbing a male customer of €100.

Detective Garda Stephen Fuller said Walsh used his taxi to pick up three men in Carrignavar and a fourth man in St Luke’s, bringing them to the brothel at Cove St, near Sullivan’s Quay in Cork City, at around 10pm on Sunday, September 2, 2012. He drove around the block and waited for his accomplices nearby until they had carried out the robbery.

Donal O’Sullivan, defending, said Walsh lost his taxi licence as a result of this crime, making his already bad financial situation a lot worse.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a three-year suspended sentence on Walsh and banned him from driving any car for two years from March 1.

“Three or more men went into the premises at Cove St [which] they knew was operating as a brothel,” said the judge. “The women inside were beaten and robbed. You were outside in your car which was a vital part in bringing the miscreants to the scene and making their escape more possible.

“It is appalling that you used a public service vehicle for the commission of a crime.

“Detective Garda Fuller says you were the least culpable; you have come up with €2,000 compensation out of limited resources.

“It was a very serious matter, it was planned violence to innocent women.”

In the absence of a plea of guilty from Walsh until yesterday, it was not possible for legal reasons to report that Eamon Bowen, aged 35, of 77 Ard Na Greine, Banduff Rd, Cork, got a sentence earlier in the week of three years’ imprisonment with one suspended for his part in the robbery.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “Bowen visited the woman with violence and broke her jaw in two places.”

A third man, Martin Daly, aged 39, of 97 Ros Ard, Upper Glanmire, Cork, was remanded in custody until Feb 25 for sentencing for his part in the robbery. He pleaded guilty this week.


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