Thursday 29 September 2016

Former lawyer (39) charged with arson at pub and fraud of over €270,000, court hears

Published 06/05/2015 | 15:06

Mark Cronin, New Street, Macroom, leaving Macroom District Court this morning Picture: John Delea
Mark Cronin, New Street, Macroom, leaving Macroom District Court this morning Picture: John Delea
Det Tom O'Sullivan Macroom Garda Stn, attending Macroom District Court Picture: John Delea

A former lawyer has been returned for trial on a charge of arson at a pub and a solicitor’s premises and with nine fraud charges involving more than €270,000.

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Mark Cronin (39) was remanded on continuing bail at Macroom District Court for trial on the various charges before Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Inspector Jerry Lacey said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has ruled that the matters be dealt with on indictment before a judge and jury in the Circuit Criminal Court.

Detective Garda Tom O'Sullivan told the court that he served the book of evidence in the case on the defendant.

Det Tom O'Sullivan Macroom Garda Stn, attending Macroom District Court Picture: John Delea
Det Tom O'Sullivan Macroom Garda Stn, attending Macroom District Court Picture: John Delea

Defence solicitor, Conor Murphy, confirmed the service and said he had no applications to make except an extension of free legal aid to the Circuit Court.

Cronin remained silent throughout the brief hearing.

Judge James McNulty was told by Inspector Lacey the gardai had no objection to the defendant being remanded on continuing bail so long as existing conditions are complied with.

Cronin has already surrendered his passport, entered a €10,000 bond and is signing on at the Bridewell Garda Station in Dublin.

Judge McNulty remanded Cronin to appear again before the next sittings of Cork Circuit Criminal Court on June 9.

Cronin of New Street, Macroom, Cork is charged with arson to a building housing both a pub and a solicitor’s office at Middle Square Macroom on October 4 2010.

He made no reply to the count when it was formally put to him after he was cautioned and charged.

Cronin is also charged with nine fraud offences.

These include three counts of stealing €30,000, €40,000 and €100,000 from Maurice and Rosemary McCarthy at his office in South Square, Macroom on various dates in 2011 and 2012.

He is also charged with stealing €79,364.48 from Sean O’Sullivan, also at his office in Macroom, on a date between January 25 2011 and January 19 2012.

Cronin is further charged with stealing €24,220 from Eric Graham at his office between July 1st 2009 and December 15th 2013.

All five theft charges against Cronin are contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Act 2011 and involve a total amount of €273,854.

Cronin is also charged with two counts of theft by deception and two counts of using a false document, contrary to Section 6 and Section 25 of the same legislation

These included that he photocopied an AIB bank draft for €223,500 and he altered it to read €323,500 and that he faxed it to other solicitors and induced them to accept it as genuine.

These also included that he photocopied a bank draft for €121,851.13 and altered it to read €221,853.13 and faxed it to another party with the intention of inducing them to accept it as genuine.

Judge McNulty granted the extension of free legal aid and allowed for one experienced junior counsel.

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