Bogus 'gardai' preyed on two elderly farmers
TWO women who pretended they were gardai in a bid to gain entry to the home of an elderly farmer have been warned they will go to jail for two years unless they stay out of trouble during the next 12 months.
The women, from Co Cork -- who have more than 60 previous convictions between them -- appeared before Limerick Circuit Court yesterday.
Katie O'Brien (20), of Shoulders Lane, Mallow, Co Cork, and Louise Galvin (23), of Ballinaboy, Churchtown, Mallow, Co Cork, both pleaded guilty to impersonating a member of An Garda Siochana on July 3, 2009.
Detective Garda Michael Hurley told the court that the women were arrested after an elderly farmer contacted gardai saying the women had called to his home at 6pm on the day of the offence claiming they were gardai from Limerick city.
The court heard that Tom Doody lived at his home in Glenashrone, Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, with his brother and both men were described as bachelor farmers aged in their 80s.
In his statement Mr Doody said the women had knocked on the back door of his house saying they were gardai and that they wanted to come in and ask the men a few questions.
The women were not wearing garda uniforms and when the pensioner asked them for identification Ms O'Brien showed him her passport, the court heard.
Mr Doody refused to allow them into the house and his brother called the local garda station in Abbeyfeale and described the women.
The defendants left the scene in a silver Opel Vectra and were later arrested.
In his evidence Det Gda Hurley said the arrests were made as part of ongoing investigations into the targeting of elderly people living in remote areas.
The court heard that Ms O'Brien had a total of 33 previous convictions, more than 20 of which related to theft offences.
Her lawyer agreed it was a "terrible offence to prey on people in this way" but said it was not professionally planned.
He told the court his client was due a baby next month and said she had moved away from Mallow and was trying to turn over a new leaf.
The court heard that Ms Galvin had a total of 38 previous convictions for theft and road traffic offences.
The court was told she was very sorry for what she had done and that she was addicted to prescribed medication.
Judge Carroll Moran adjourned sentencing in the case for 12 months but warned both women they faced a two-year term in jail if they did not stay out of trouble.
The women are due to be sentenced on December 6 next year.