Cop and Robber: Face of Garda who stole from pensioner and colleagues
Published 04/11/2011 | 05:00
A FORMER garda faces up to 10 years in prison for stealing thousands of euro from his colleagues and an 82-year-old woman.
David Foran (29) responded to a burglary at the elderly woman's home and found she had hidden nearly €2,000 in her bedroom. He later returned to steal the cash.
He also collected money from his garda colleagues to organise events which he then used to pay his own debts.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Foran was nearly €0.5m in debt because of a house he had built with his wife.
He has now been dismissed from the gardai, his marriage has ended, and his home repossessed.
Foran wept throughout the hearing. In a letter of apology he stated: "I will forever regret disgracing my unit and I'm forever sorry."
Judge Yvonne Murphy adjourned that matter until January but warned she was "making no promises".
She called it an unsophisticated crime but noted he had now repaid all the stolen money. She ordered a probation and psychiatric report be prepared on Foran and remanded him on continuing bail.
Foran, from Kinsale, Co Cork, and formerly stationed at the Fitzgibbon Street unit in Dublin, pleaded guilty to the theft of property worth €1,950 from the woman in Phibsboro between October 10 and 17, 2009.
He further pleaded guilty to four counts of stealing money collected from his colleagues and one count of using a false letter at Jury's Hotel, Limerick, all between October and November 2009.
Detective Inspector Francis Sweeney told the court that Foran was stationed at Fitzgibbon Street when he responded to a burglary at the home of the elderly woman.
When Foran arrived with a colleague the woman showed them the pillow cases where she kept her money. The woman left for Cork the next day for a week during which time Foran returned and took the money.
When she discovered the money was missing, the woman phoned gardai. The investigating garda passed the case to Foran who said he would "take care of it". However, he never contacted the woman again.
The court also heard how Foran organised a number of collections for social events for his garda colleagues, including a Christmas party in Jury's Hotel in Limerick. He collected €13,030 for the event but used this to pay his debts instead.
When he had to make part-payment for the hotel after the event he used a credit card number belonging to a colleague along with a forged letter of authorisation on garda-headed notepaper.
Other incidents of theft from colleagues included a collection for a garda who was leaving, a collection for a trip to Anfield for a Liverpool match and money collected for a Christmas party. An investigation was started after the Jury's incident when his colleague noticed the money missing on his credit card.
As he started his shift on December 3, 2009, Foran was arrested. As he sat in the back of the garda car he confessed to stealing from the elderly woman. He was dismissed from the force soon afterwards.
Defence counsel Ronan Munro said Foran made full admissions in interview and wrote letters of apology to his victims.
Only €23 remained in Foran's take-home pay after weekly debt repayments were deducted.