Man accused of stealing €28,000 from pensioner 'has drug problem'
Published 01/07/2011 | 05:00
A court was yesterday told the man charged with stealing a pensioner's €28,000 life savings after posing as a garda has a serious alcohol and cocaine problem.
Kenneth Lyons (28) -- dressed in jeans and a T-shirt -- did not speak during the hearing at Cork District Court yesterday, where he was remanded in custody after gardai successfully opposed a bail application.
Mr Lyons, of Willison Meadows, Tower, Blarney, Co Cork, faces two charges in relation to the theft of the cash in the Wolfe Tone Street area of Cork at 6.50am last Sunday.
The pensioner, who lives alone, was robbed of his life savings just hours before he was due to fly out on a pilgrimage to Medjugorge.
The court was told that gardai have recovered €18,900 in cash as part of their investigation but a substantial quantity of money remains outstanding.
The pensioner did not attend yesterday's hearing. He had allegedly shown the cash to a man he believed was a garda so that he could put security markings on it.
Detective Garda Aidan Forrest told the court that Mr Lyons was arrested on Tuesday evening. He was charged on Wednesday night with the theft of €28,000 in cash from the 70-year-old man.
Mr Lyons was also charged with making a statement suggesting he was a member of the gardai.
Det Gda Forrest told the court that he arrested, cautioned and charged Mr Lyons but the defendant made no reply to either charge.
Judge Con O'Leary was told that gardai were objecting to bail for Mr Lyons on a number of grounds.
Det Garda Forrest said gardai believed the offences were very serious, and that there was a risk Mr Lyons might not attend future court proceedings in relation to the matter.
The court was told that Mr Lyons suffered from serious alcohol and cocaine problems.
Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer applied for bail but, after a lengthy hearing, Judge O'Leary remanded Mr Lyons in custody to appear again before Cork District Court next Thursday.
A second man arrested by gardai on Tuesday evening was released without charge from Gurranabraher garda station.
A file on the matter will now be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Supt Con Cadogan has appealed for anyone with information about the incident -- in particular a taxi driver who was working in the area last Sunday morning -- to contact gardai.