Court orders return of €2,000 robbed from bookies in 2009

A sum of €2,000 in cash that was robbed from a bookmakers in Cork more than seven years ago was finally returned to the owners by order of a court yesterday.

Court orders return of €2,000 robbed from bookies in 2009

Judge Olann Kelleher granted an order returning the cash to Victor Chandler’s betting office in Douglas West, Cork, at Cork District Court yesterday.

Inspector John Deasy said that the cash was seized during a search at the home of the culprit days after the robbery was carried out.

Fingerprints of two members of staff were found on some of the €50 notes in the €2,000 in cash found during the search.

Paul O’Connor, aged 46, formerly of Fernwood Crescent, Lehenaghmore, Cork, was later sentenced to 10 years in prison with the last 18 months suspended in 2011.

The robbery itself was carried out on June 28, 2009.

Detective Garda Aonghus Cotter said yesterday that O’Connor was notified of the application to have the seized cash returned to the betting office and indicated that he would not be turning up in court to object to that application.

Det Garda Cotter said that the accused effectively gave evidence in the course of his own trial that the money represented part of the proceeds of the crime.

In 2011, at Cork Circuit Criminal Court a 10-year sentence was imposed on O’Connor with the last 18 months suspended for robbing over €10,000 from the premises.

During the trial O’Connor made up a story that it was a member of staff at a bookies’ office at the time who had masterminded the crime.

In fact, there was evidence that O’Connor had threatened this member of staff harm would come to the victim’s partner and child if the gardaí were called within half an hour of the robbery.

O’Connor’s defence to the charge of robbery was that it had been a “dummy robbery”.

The late Judge Con Murphy who presided over the trial at the time said of the victim: “His reputation is untarnished as is amply proved by the jury verdict.”

The late Judge Murphy also stated at the time that as well as the false claim against the victim, the defendant also arranged a false alibi and showed himself to be a “cool, calculating professional criminal”.

Sgt Simon Grace testified at the time that nothing in the lengthy garda investigation supported the defendant’s allegations against the victim.

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