News Courts

Sunday 31 August 2014

Bogus charity man asked a garda for cash

Andrew Phelan

Published 13/06/2014 | 10:07

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A BOGUS charity collector was caught when he stopped an undercover garda in the street and asked him to sponsor him, a court heard.

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Ian Lawlor (26) was collecting money for a non-existent drugs charity when he approached the plainclothes officer in south Dublin.

Judge Michael Walsh recommended a community service order instead of a jail sentence if the accused is found suitable.

Lawlor, with an address at Wellington Street, Dun Laoghaire, pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to possession of a false volunteer card in Ballsbridge on February 8, 2014.

Sgt Zita Woods said the accused was seen collecting sponsorship from members of the public. A large number of people were in the area because of the Ireland v Wales Six Nations rugby match at the time.

The sponsorship card was false; his photo was attached to it but the drugs charity was not registered. He admitted he was not authorised and was collecting money for himself.

Addiction

The accused had several previous convictions and most recently had been given probation for theft offences.

Defence Solicitor Matthew De Courcy explained that Lawlor had previously been with the Victory Outreach addiction programme and had been given identification to make a collection for that organisation.

He went on to “manipulate” this document to allow him to collect money on the date in question. He had partially filled out the sponsorship card himself in order to induce people to give him money.

“The second person he tried to induce was a garda,” Mr De Courcy said.

The accused, who had a drug problem, was father to two children, the second of whom was born in recent weeks.

Judge Walsh said he was considering ordering the defendant to carry out 150 hours’ community service instead of a four-month prison sentence.

hnews@herald.ie

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