Car dealer duped into sale

A GARAGE owner was duped into selling a car to a man who made a phone-call pretending to be from a bank confirming the price of the car had been lodged in the vendor’s account.

Kevin O’Keefe also brought a photocopy of a bank lodgement slip to the garage which purported to prove €1,100 had been lodged.

It was this aspect of the deception that led to a criminal charge being brought against O’Keefe, of Clongeel Lower, Boherbue, Mallow, Co Cork. He was charged with using a copy of a TSB lodgement slip indicating that €1,100 had been lodged into the account of Mid-Cork Motor Company in order to induce the company to give him a car of that value.

Prosecution barrister Ray Boland said the Director of Public Prosecutions wanted the case to go on at Macroom District Court. However, O’Keefe wanted to exercise his right to have a trial by judge and jury.

But when he appeared at Cork Circuit Criminal Court he pleaded guilty to the offence which he committed on October 9, 2010.

Sergeant Brendan O’Sullivan said O’Keefe made no effort to sell the car and wanted it for himself. The car was recovered by the garage.

The defendant has 71 previous convictions for theft and fraud offences.

A psychiatric report described O’Keefe, aged 36, as a Walter Mitty-type character, according to defence barrister Dermot Sheehan.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said it was one thing to identify the behaviour but he asked if the court was expected simply to admire it.

Sentencing was adjourned until March 12, 2012.

More in this section