Tuesday 6 December 2016

Man who sold counterfeit cash for IRA has jail term cut

Published 10/08/2016 | 02:30

A trial heard Molloy started counterfeiting after the downturn affected his printing business. Stock Picture
A trial heard Molloy started counterfeiting after the downturn affected his printing business. Stock Picture

A man jailed for six years for selling counterfeit banknotes for the IRA has had his sentence reduced by the Court of Appeal.

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Kildare printer Richard Molloy ran a sophisticated counterfeiting operation and around €2m in fake notes, of varying quality, were discovered by the Special Detective Unit at a premises he was leasing.

He was sentenced to six years in prison last year after pleading guilty to having materials for the purpose of counterfeiting currency.

But in a ruling published this week, the Court of Appeal decided to reduce the sentence by six months. It also suspended the final 18 months.

The changes effectively cut Molloy's prison time by a third.

The case arose out of a surveillance operation on suspected members of the IRA.

Detectives swooped on Molloy (45), of Kilmeague, Naas, Co Kildare, after he sold €20,000 in counterfeit notes for €2,200 to a man in a pub in Phibsboro in Dublin in February 2014.

A trial heard Molloy started counterfeiting after the downturn affected his printing business.

Gardaí­ accepted Molloy was not a member of the IRA, but knew the people he was producing the notes for were members of, or involved with, the IRA.

In a judgment by Mr Justice John Edwards, the appeal court found that the original sentencing judge had not indicated a starting point to be considered for the jail term or what allowance was being made for mitigating factors.

In reducing the sentence, the Court of Appeal found Molloy was clearly a man with emotional and personal difficulties.

This included an alcohol dependence and the terminal illness of his partner.

It found Molloy had made progress towards rehabilitation in prison and that this could be incentivised by suspending the final 18 months of the sentence.

Irish Independent

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