Saturday 27 December 2014

'Kidnap' developer spends night in jail after failing to post €10k bail

Published 25/07/2013 | 05:00

Kevin McGeever at Strokestown District Court
Kevin McGeever (68) appeared before Judge Geoffrey Browne at Strokestown District Court earlier today
Kevin McGeever
Kevin McGeever just after he was 'found wandering' a road in Leitrim

THE developer accused of faking his own kidnapping has spent the night in Castlerea Prison.

Kevin McGeever (68) was taken there after appearing at Strokestown District Court in Co Roscommon, where he was charged with making a false complaint and wasting garda time.

After being processed by prison officials, he was placed in a committal area where he will be monitored for 24 hours.

He is then expected to be introduced into the normal prison system, but will continue to be housed with remand prisoners.

"This man is new to the system and he is quite elderly, so he'll be watched to see how he reacts before a decision is taken to place him in the general population," said a source.

There are up to 50 prisoners on remand in the medium security prison, and Mr McGeever is expected to join them from today if he fails to post bail.

"He's not going to be placed with any long-term prisoners or even those who are in and out of the system repeatedly," said the source.

Mr McGeever had been granted leave to take up bail, but his solicitor told Judge Geoffrey Browne that he could not afford to.

The judge refused to reduce the independent surety set at €10,000, of which €3,000 was to be in cash, and Mr McGeever was remanded in custody.

He will appear before Harristown District Court tomorrow.

The Mayo businessman is facing two charges under sections 12A and 12B of the 1976 Criminal Law Act. These relate to knowingly giving false reports and statements that an offence had been committed and to wasting garda time.

MALNUTRITION

The offences were allegedly carried out between January 29 and February 28 of this year and relate to the period of eight months, from May 27, 2012 to last January 29, when he initially claimed to have been abducted.

Earlier yesterday, the court heard evidence from Gda John Keating, of Gort station in Co Galway, that he arrested Mr McGeever at Brooklawn in Clontarf, Dublin, at 4.50pm on Tuesday and took him to Gort, where he was charged with both counts at 10.35pm. He made no reply to either charge.

Insp Padraig Jones, of Castlerea, said gardai did not object to bail, but requested a number of conditions, including the independent surety. Mr McGeever must also provide his own bond of €2,500.

Joan Devine, for Tom Brabazon Solicitors, asked Judge Browne for the independent surety to be lowered to €8,000 as her client did not have the means, but he refused.

Mr McGeever was also told to hand in all travel documents; asked to provide an address at which he resides and give seven days' notice if he intends to move to another; and ordered to sign on on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at a garda station to be named.

The developer was reported missing in May last year, and was not seen again until last January when he was found by a motorist on a road at Corlough near Ballinamore on the Cavan-Leitrim border.

He was in a dishevelled state and had the word "tief" scratched into his forehead. He was admitted to the Midlands Regional hospital in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, where he was treated for malnutrition.

Gardai immediately began an investigation into his allegation of false imprisonment, but he was arrested and questioned in Gort last March in relation to wasting garda time.

Irish Independent

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