Tuesday 23 May 2017

Two guilty of forging will after brother testified

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

A BUSINESSMAN has been ordered not to contact his whistleblower brother after a jury found him guilty of forging a bachelor farmer's will.

The jury at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court found Noel Hayes and William O'Leary guilty of forging the will of 82-year-old Matthew Hayes from Duncannon, Co Wexford.

Judge Raymond Fullam remanded the two men on bail last night ahead of their sentencing hearing on a number of conditions.

He ordered the men not to apply for new passports and to sign on three times weekly at New Ross garda station.

He also ordered that the men were "not to interfere with or contact in any way" Charles O'Leary or his wife and family.

Charles O'Leary turned whistleblower after admitting his part in the forgery of the will some years ago.

He testified against his brother, Willie, and his former lifelong friend, Noel Hayes, stating that all three were involved in forging a will in the name of Matthew Hayes. He confessed that he had received IR£12,500 for his part in the forgery but claimed it was "dirty money" so he had given it away. Matthew Hayes died on Christmas Day of 1998.

In a document purporting to be his final will and testament, his estate of 162 acres and monies in various accounts were left to his distant relation, Noel Hayes.

Noel Hayes (59), of Ramsgrange, New Ross, and William O'Leary (49) of Kilhile, Arthurstown, New Ross, had both denied forgery on a date unknown between December 25, 1998 and January 8, 1999.

Judge Fullam adjourned the sentencing hearing until February 25.

Irish Independent

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