Sunday 24 September 2017

Man and teen tricked pensioner into handing over €4,200, court told

Tom Tuite

A 24-YEAR-OLD man and a teenage boy have been remanded on custody after they were charged with stealing €4,200 from a pensioner who was allegedly tricked into believing his attic was flooded.

Father-of-one Patrick Stokes with an address at Kishogue Park, Lucan, Dublin, and the 17-year-old, who cannot be named because he is a juvenile, were charged today with theft and trespassing offences.

It is alleged they stole €4,200 from an infirm 79-year-old widower, at his home on Ballyfermot Parade, in west Dublin on Monday.

The pair were charged at the Children's Court in Dublin because one of them is a minor.

Gardai objected to bail, citing the seriousness of the charges. Detective Garda James McDevitt told Judge Ann Ryan that it was alleged Patrick Stokes had entered the elderly man's home claiming there had been reports of a leak in his attic.

It would be alleged he removed insulation from the pensioner's attic and wet it in the bathroom of the house.

The elderly man paid €2,200 and was allegedly told by Patrick Stokes to go to his bank and withdraw €2,000. It was claimed the pensioner withdrew the money and handed it over but later Mr Stokes allegedly “demanded another €2,000”.

Det-Gda McDevitt said there was no evidence of any burst pipes in the attic and a piece of insulation had been found in a bath in the widower's house.

The court heard that the elderly man felt threatened and has been left in an extremely distressed state. His family had never seen him so upset and it is not known whether he will continue to live at his home.

The arrests were made after neighbours called the gardai who have not yet recovered the stolen €4,200.

Det-Gda Jason Miley said it was alleged the teenager blocked him and his colleague from entering the house. The front door lock had to be forced by gardai to get in and the pair were allegedly found in the kitchen of the 79-year-old man's house.

Judge Ryan refused to grant bail to the pair who have not yet indicated how they will plead to the charges. Mr Stokes was remanded in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on October 16. The teenage boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, is being held in St Patrick's Institution and his case will resume at the Children's Court next Tuesday.

Further charges could also be brought against them, Judge Ryan was also told.

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