Accused claims babysitter had admitted taking money before

One of the women charged with falsely imprisoning a baby-sitter for three days after they accused her of stealing £1,200 cash told gardai the alleged victim had admitted taking money previously.

One of the women charged with falsely imprisoning a baby-sitter for three days after they accused her of stealing £1,200 cash told gardai the alleged victim had admitted taking money previously.

Karen Leahy (32), Patrick’s Park, Clondalkin and Liza Brophy (33), of Hartstown, Clonsilla have both pleaded not guilty to the false imprisonment of Ms Charlotte Godkin and assaulting her in Sunbury Gardens, Dartry on December 16-18, 1998.

Ms Leahy has also pleaded not guilty to causing criminal damage to clothes which were the property of Ms Godkin on the same occasion.

Detective Sergeant George McGeary read Ms Leahy’s statement in which she said she noticed some notes had gone missing from her wallet on a couple of occasions.

Ms Leahy said she believed Ms Godkin had taken the money and started taking her handbag to bed with her as a result. She said her boyfriend also missed £200 but they said nothing to Ms Godkin.

Det Sgt McGeary told prosecuting counsel, Mr Paul Coffey BL that Ms Leahy said she put £1,200 in an envelope in her bag on Thursday 17. She said this was to be her budget for the next two weeks and was also money for her three childrens’ Christmas presents.

She said she met Ms Godkin in the hall where she had left her bag. Ms Godkin asked if she would be home early and she replied no. Ms Leahy said she then went to Smyths Toy Store.

She was there for about an hour and a half and did not realise the money was missing until she got to the checkout. She rang her friend Ursula, who was painting a room at her house, and asked her if the money was in the hall but it was not.

Det Sgt McGeary said Ms Leahy told gardai she returned home and asked Ms Godkin if she had seen the money. Ms Godkin said ‘no’ and Ms Leahy said she told the victim she was sure she had taken some money from her purse before to which Ms Godkin admitted she had.

Ms Leahy claimed the arguing continued all evening. Ms Godkin had two suitcases packed in her room and Ms Leahy searched her belongings.

She claimed she found some mail addressed to her which she had never seen before in one of her bags. Ms Godkin said she had taken them because she was curious.

Ms Leahy said the following day she told Ms Godkin she did not have thousands of pounds in the bank and Ms Godkin said she would ask a friend to write a cheque to pay back the money.

Ms Leahy left around 5.30 and asked her boyfriend Ernest Kelly to speak to Ms Godkin. Mr Kelly rang Ms Leahy later and said Ms Godkin was still shouting and had gone into the bathroom and was not coming out.

Ms Leahy said she went home and told Ms Godkin she just wanted her out of the house and if this wasn’t sorted out by the following Monday she would ring her parents and tell them she had taken her money.

She claimed Ms Godkin left with a small bag and a suitcase and Ms Leahy told her she was sorry things had ended like this. She went after her in a car with Mr Kelly and saw her on the road but could not stop because of the traffic. When they turned back she was gone.

Ms Leahy said she had spoken to her friend Ursula who told her Ms Godkin had approached her after Ms Leahy had left the previous day and asked her where she had gone. Ursula said she had gone to buy presents for the children.

Her statement added that Ms Godkin then asked Ursula to mind the children as she had to leave for a short time.

Detective Garda Hugh Lyons read out Ms Brophy’s statement in which she said she had liked Ms Godkin until Ms Leahy went on holidays and asked her to give Ms Godkin her wages.

Ms Leahy left on a Friday and gave Ms Godkin £150 wages and £150 grocery money. She also bought £200 of groceries before she left. Ms Brophy said Ms Godkin rang her the following Monday looking for money to buy groceries.

She said she would not give her any money but Ms Godkin started shouting at her so Ms Brophy gave her £60.

She gave her more money on three other occasions, including £80 for a party for one of the children's birthday. Ms Brophy said she called around the day the party was supposed to be and nothing had been bought.

She said she never assaulted Ms Godkin when the argument about the money arose. She said she never saw her locked in the bathroom and never went into her in the bathroom. She said there was just a lot of shouting and she never saw any one else hit Ms Godkin.

Ms Godkin, recalled, told Mr Ciaran O’Loughlin SC (with Mr Sean Gillane BL), defence counsel for Ms Leahy, the argument started on Wednesday and added that it was a mistake when she had amended her statement to say it began on Thursday.

Both Ms Brophy and Ms Leahy said in their statements the argument started on Thursday around tea time.

The trial continues today before Judge Yvonne Murphy.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence