Ex-HSE worker charged with theft

A former HSE employee was brought before Cork District Court yesterday charged with stealing over €55,000 and attempting to steal another €107,000 from the health authority.

Detective Garda Aidan Forrest testified that he arrested David Cooper, aged 52, at his apartment at 7 Southern Rd, Cork, on Monday morning.

He later charged him with a total of 12 counts.

Six counts related to alleged thefts of sums totalling over €55,000, and four related to alleged attempted thefts totalling €107,314 between Jun 29 and Jul 6, 2012, from the HSE.

Mr Cooper was also charged with two further thefts of €5,811 from HSE suppliers Pat Hennerty Sales, and €1,804 from Forrest Print during the same time period.

All 12 charges relate to his time as an employee at St Mary’s Orthopaedic Hospital in Cork.

Det Garda Forrest testified that Mr Cooper made no reply to any of the 12 charges when they were put to him after caution. The detective said gardaí had no objection to bail for the defendant on his undertaking to have no contact directly or indirectly with HSE administration staff.

Inspector Mary King said that the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed trial by indictment and applied for a three-week remand in the case to allow time for preparation of the book of evidence.

Mr Cooper’s solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said that his client had no difficulty with abiding by the bail condition.

Judge Con O’Leary remanded Mr Cooper on his own bail of €5,000 to appear again at Cork District Court on Feb 5.

Mr Buttimer, was assigned on free legal aid.

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