Friday 9 December 2016

Wig-wearing kleptomaniac jailed after duping bank into believing she was a solicitor

Gordon Deegan

Published 13/11/2015 | 02:30

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A kleptomaniac wearing a blonde wig strolled into a bank, duped a male bank official into believing she was a local solicitor, and was handed €650 from the solicitor's bank account.

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Inspector Tom Kennedy told Ennis District Court that Michelle Maughan (30) had earlier stolen €130 and a handbag owned by solicitor Martina Brennan containing her bank card, from the lawyers' room at Ennis courthouse, at 12.45pm on January 26, 2015.

Insp Kennedy said Maughan "wearing a blonde wig, went to the local Permanent TSB bank on O'Connell Street in Ennis at around 1.30pm the same day and persuaded a local bank teller that she was Martina Brennan".

The bank official handed out €650 to Maughan, of Stonecourt, Drumbiggle, Ennis. Insp Kennedy said none of the €780 had since been recovered.

The crimes at the courthouse and the bank were two of 10 charges Maughan had pleaded guilty to.

Insp Kennedy said that apart from the guilty pleas, Maughan has 22 previous theft convictions.

Clever

Jailing Maughan for 20 months for the offences relating to Ms Brennan and a string of other thefts around Ennis, Judge Patrick Durcan described the mother as "a very clever and well-organised thief".

He described Maughan's behaviour as 'deceitful, dishonest and appalling".

Solicitor for Maughan, William Cahir, said that his client's first theft charge dates from January 2013.

He said: "These are not thefts in the normal course like an addict fuelling a habit - this is effectively kleptomania and is some type of cry for help by Ms Maughan."

He added: "She is certainly facing a sentence and has effectively destroyed her life in the space of 24 months.

"It is unusual that someone gets to that stage of life and self-combusts."

Irish Independent

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