Judge tells Cork woman she wasted 'an awful lot of public-paid time' with fake medical certs

A woman facing a string of charges provided fake medical reports to court on at least five separate occasions, resulting in a string of adjournments spanning almost two-and-a-half years.

Judge tells Cork woman she wasted 'an awful lot of public-paid time' with fake medical certs

A woman facing a string of charges provided fake medical reports to court on at least five separate occasions, resulting in a string of adjournments spanning almost two-and-a-half years.

Karen Nixon, of Forest Rest in Kilbrittain in Co Cork, was told by a judge that she faces a likely prison sentence as a result of her offending and that she wasted "an awful lot of public-paid time".

The 40-year-old appeared before Bandon District Court and through her solicitor pleaded guilty to all charges.

They include some road traffic offences and a number of charges of inducing someone to pay her thousands of euro in cash by deception.

Those charges relate to a six-month period from Oct 2013 to Mar 2014, with the money all paid over to her by one person.

However, a court previously heard that gardaí believe there was also an issue with production of false medical certificates when she was not present and leading to multiple court adjournments.

Those medical reports, produced unknowingly in court by her solicitor, took place from September 2015 to January last year.

Judge James McNulty told Ms Nixon's solicitor, Plunkett Taaffe: "Your client has a significant history of offending".

That included charges of obtaining "significant sums of money from someone by deception".

He referred to a previous probation report from 2013 that indicated Ms Nixon was at a low risk of offending, something he said was "not the truth".

He said: "She was re-offending in 2014 and 2015 in other respects."

"Then it transpired she was creating false medical reports and relying on them, giving them to you, to mislead you, to give them to the court," Judge McNulty said to Mr Taaffe.

This resulted in repeated adjournments and Judge McNulty said: "You will gather that I take the most serious view."

Mr Taaffe said it is a "bizarre scenario" as his client had a genuine and life-threatening illness and did not need to fabricate medical reports, adding: "It was an appalling thing to do."

The court heard Ms Nixon was to have produced some money in court but was unable to raise the full amount.

Judge McNulty said he believes the matter could not be dealt with by fines or community service and said the issues are too serious to be dealt with on a suspended sentence basis: "The court intends to sentence and the sentences will be significant."

The Judge said: "Garda time is not a free resource. Court time is not an infinite resource. She has wasted an awful lot of public-paid time without amends being made."

Judge McNulty said the court will sentence her on April 15 and remanded her on continuing bail until then.

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