Garda cheated insurance firm of €10,000, court told
A GARDA has gone on trial accused of deceiving an insurance company and harassing a car dealer and his father.
Garda Paul Fogarty (27), based at Dundrum garda station, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dishonestly and by deception inducing Quinn Direct to pay out an insurance claim of €10,254 at Littlepace, Clonee, Co Meath.
He has also pleaded not guilty to harassing car dealer Christopher Kelly of Custom Creations in Trim and his father Patrick Kelly by telephone on dates between November 1, 2008, and May 31, 2009.
Opening the trial, prosecution counsel Melanie Greally told the jury that they will hear evidence that Mr Fogarty had his high-performance sports car, a Toyota Celica, insured for third-party fire and theft, and was involved in a single-vehicle collision on the M50 in January 2008.
The car, which cost Mr Fogarty €19,000, was towed to a car recovery yard in Co Wicklow, where it remained for several weeks.
Ms Greally said the jury will hear evidence from Christopher Kelly, who she described as a "disreputable" car businessman, with whom Mr Fogarty came in contact with, asking him to repair his car.
Mr Kelly undertook to repair the car and Mr Fogarty gave him €5,000 upfront for parts and labour. The money was paid into his father's account.
"What ensued over the next eight to nine months was that very little was done to improve the condition of the car," explained Ms Greally.
She said there will be evidence that the car was returned to Mr Fogarty for the first time in November 2008 and he was "deeply unsatisfied" with its condition.
The car was returned to him a second time after more work was completed but again it was not up to the standard he wanted.
Ultimately the car was handed back to Mr Fogarty and it is the State's case that unpleasant communication followed from Mr Fogarty towards Mr Kelly and his father Patrick through telephone calls, counsel said.
"It was dark and sinister, menacing and forceful threats and profane language was used," said Ms Greally.
She explained the jury will hear evidence of a "manifestly false" letter sent to Quinn Direct to settle his insurance claim for just over €10,000 after Mr Fogarty reported his car stolen on April 15, 2009.
In the letter to Quinn Direct, Mr Fogarty claimed the car was stolen in the early hours of the morning from outside his grandmother's house.
He claimed the car was locked, in perfect condition and not involved in any crashes while he owned it and that he only had it one year.
The alleged deception became apparent in June 2009 after gardai began investigating the activities of Christopher Kelly, who confessed of his involvement in "some underhand car dealings such as stealing to order".
"As a result of the engagement between gardai and Christopher Kelly, John Fogarty was arrested and interviewed," said Ms Greally.
The trial continues before Judge Sarah Berkeley and a jury.