Judge accused of trying to deceive pensioner blamed secretary over will, court told
Published 14/11/2012 | 05:00
A JUDGE who is accused of attempting to deceive a friend out of half of his estate initially claimed that a mistake had been made by her secretary, a court has heard.
District Court judge Heather Perrin (60) is accused of tricking Thomas Davis into bequeathing half of his €1m estate to her two children while he was a client of her solicitors' firm.
The trial heard that when the alleged deception came to light, Ms Perrin claimed on the phone to the alleged victim's niece that her secretary must have made an error.
There was also evidence that the judge later claimed the mistake was on the part of Mr Davis and his wife and that she had drawn up the will in line with their wishes at the time.
Ms Perrin, of Lambay Court, Malahide, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to deceptively inducing Mr Davis to bequeath half of his estate to Sybil and Adam Perrin at her office on Fairview Strand on January 22, 2009.
She was made a judge in February 2009 after running a solicitors' practice in Fairview, of which Mr Davis was a long-standing client.
The trial has previously heard testimony from Mr Davis, who is now in his eighties, that he wished to leave the vast majority of his estate to his two nieces, who live in England.
He said he only intended to leave €2,000 each to the Perrin children.
Prosecuting counsel Dominic McGinn SC had earlier said there would be evidence that Ms Perrin told gardai that Mr Davis instructed her to split the estate between her children and his nieces because he was unhappy with how the nieces had "squandered" cash gifts from him.
The jury heard from Mr Davis's two nieces yesterday, who agreed that they had been given £40,000 (€50,000) by their uncle over the years but had used it to pay off a mortgage and buy a new boiler.
They said the rest of the money was still in a savings account and that their aunt and uncle were happy with how they had used it.
Mr Davis's niece, Alison Rowley, told Mr McGinn: "I don't call paying off a mortgage squandering money."
Another niece, Michelle Checklin, said she only used less than £3,000 (€3,750) of the gift to buy a boiler and gas fire.
The trial continues.