Thursday 21 September 2017

'With tearful eyes she trembled and looked from her lover to the judge'

Karen Morrissey, who bears a striking resemblance to Mr
Forsey's ex-wife, pictured during the trial
Karen Morrissey, who bears a striking resemblance to Mr Forsey's ex-wife, pictured during the trial
Fred Foresey's ex-wife Jenny and daughter Amy – who got a text message from Mr Forsey which was intended for his lover – outside court during the trial

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

THEY say big boys don't cry. It was Fred Forsey's turn to be composed in court yesterday, but his young lover wept as the sentence was read out.

While the 43-year-old sobbed uncontrollably on the day a jury unanimously found him guilty of corruption, he appeared calm yesterday as he stood up to learn his fate.

This time Karen Morrissey (26) was the one to break down when Judge Gerard Griffin read out the sentence. The petite brunette, who bears a striking resemblance to a young Jenny Forsey, whimpered quietly.

As tears streamed down her cheeks, her body trembled. She lifted her hands to cover her face and looked from her lover to the judge.

Fred Forsey looked directly ahead and did not quiver as Judge Griffin handed him a six-year sentence for each of the six counts of corruption.

The six years are to run concurrently, with the final two years suspended. With the automatic discount given to prisoners, Forsey is likely to spend just three years locked up for corruption.

His bags were packed and he spent his first night in Mountjoy Prison last night. He's expected to be moved to the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise to serve out the sentence.

Forsey, who is always immaculately groomed, wore a crisp white shirt, red tie and grey suit.

After the sentence was read out, Forsey swallowed hard. Moments after Judge Griffin rose, a prison officer nodded at Ms Morrissey and Forsey opened his arms to her.

The couple embraced while Ms Morrissey cried. Forsey stood with his arms draped on his lover's back as their two families and friends circled around him.

He only drew himself away from Ms Morrissey briefly to hug his mother.

His sister sobbed loudly and walked around the courtroom in disbelief after the sentencing hearing concluded.

Ms Morrissey, who wore a flowery dress and a pair of flat shoes, was chaperoned by Forsey's entourage as she left the courtroom. She covered her eyes by wearing sunglasses outside courtroom 22 in the Dublin Courts of Criminal Justice.

Forsey and Ms Morrissey have spent the past few weeks at their rented beach house, which is owned by a private detective, in Ballinacourty near Dungarvan, Co Waterford.

Allowance

Forsey, who is on the back-to-work allowance, had been leaving their home every day to travel to the nearby town of Dungarvan where he signed on daily at the garda station.

At times, he was accompanied to town by Ms Morrissey. However, apart from visits to friends and families and walks on the beach, they have kept a low profile.

The young woman who stole Forsey's heart while he was a married man has had to grow up fast in the past few years.

A Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford girl, she had to deal with Fred's angry ex-wife and public embarrassment.

Now the long-haired beauty will have to continue her life without Forsey for the next three years while he remains behind bars.

In a last-ditch attempt to sway the judge, Forsey took to the witness box yesterday to again insist that the €80,000 from the millionaire developer was "a loan". When sworn in to give evidence, he gave his name as "Frederick Forsey".

There were beads of sweat on his brow as he repeated: "Yes, it was a loan."

He admitted he did not pay the money back but gave details of going to Australia because of "issues with my wife". He also gave evidence of setting up a business, Big Bro Software, which he is pitching at insurance companies. The idea centres on how GPS devices can be fitted in cars to alert insurance companies if a driver breaks the speed limit.

The court heard that Forsey does not own the technology but has registered companies in Ireland to distribute the idea.

Defence counsel John Phelan said his client was "in talks" with companies in Australia, Italy, England and Ireland. He described how Forsey hoped the business would employ people in Ireland.

But nobody has signed up for the service yet and Forsey has never received a cent from the company.

Irish Independent

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