independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Deception-bid judge set to resign

A judge who tried to con an elderly relative out of half his estate is set to resign

A judge found guilty of attempting to deceive an elderly friend out of half his estate is to resign.

Heather Perrin will be sentenced on Wednesday after being convicted of deception by the Circuit Criminal Court.

She is the first member of the judiciary in the history of the State to be convicted of a serious crime.

The Court Service has confirmed the 60-year-old, of Lambay Court, Malahide, Co Dublin, plans to quit her post.

"The Courts Service has been informed that this evening Judge Heather Perrin will proffer her immediate resignation from the District Court bench, to President Michael D Higgins, via the Department of an Taoiseach," it said in a statement.

Perrin faces up to five years in jail for deception after a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict. She was released on bail but ordered to surrender her passport at Malahide Garda station in Dublin. Throughout the trial she had denied inducing Thomas Davis by deception by including her children as major beneficiaries of his one million euro estate.

Mr Davis, who is in his 80s, and his wife, Ada, had been friends of Perrin for many years.

In evidence, Mr Davis revealed he gave instructions to the former solicitor about a new will in January 2009 which was to bequeath 2,000 euro each to various churches and 2,000 euro each to Perrin's children Adam and Sybil.

The rest of the estate, including a house in Finglas, 750,000 euro from the sale of a house in Gorey, and a large sum of money on deposit with EBS, was to be divided up between his nieces. But the will drafted by Perrin divided the estate between Mr Davis's nieces and her own children.

Mr Davis told the trial his will was not read over to him before he signed it and that a copy he received contained his original instructions. The false will was exposed after O'Hanrahan Quaney, the firm that took over Perrin's business when she was appointed to the judiciary, discovered it in her papers. Charges of deception relating to Mrs Davis's will were dropped because she was unable to give evidence.

Press Association

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