Wednesday 29 March 2017

Workman conned elderly homeowner out of €3.5k for unnecessary roof repairs

Charles O'Brien, Rosebank Place, Clondalkin charged with deception, pictured at Blanchardstown District Court
Charles O'Brien, Rosebank Place, Clondalkin charged with deception, pictured at Blanchardstown District Court

Andrew Phelan

A workman conned an elderly householder out of more than €3,500 for unnecessary roof repairs when he showed him rotten timbers, pretending they had come from his home.

Charles O’Brien (37) brought the old wood to the victim’s house to deceive him and took three payments from him in what a judge described as a “despicable crime.”

Judge David McHugh ordered O’Brien to pay compensation and adjourned sentencing at Blanchardstown District Court.

O’Brien, of Rosebank Place, Clondalkin pleaded guilty to three counts of deception.

According to the charges, he induced the victim dishonestly to make two payments of €1,500 and one of €570.

The offences happened on dates unknown between March 11 and 16 this year, at Cappaghmore Estate, Clondalkin.

The court heard the DPP was consenting to the case being dealt with at district court level only on a plea of guilty.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming told the court O’Brien was pleading guilty subject to the judge accepting jurisdiction.

Garda Sgt Maria Callaghan said the accused and another man went to the victim’s home told him that he believed the roof needed repair.

Rotten timbers were brought in by O’Brien and shown to the victim, who was told that they were from his roof.

The repairs were carried out and the victim paid €3,570.

Judge McHugh accepted jurisdiction after hearing the outline of the facts of the case.

A State solicitor said the accused had previous motoring convictions.

Judge McHugh said he would adjourn the case to give O’Brien time to pay compensation.

“I wish to add that I consider the crime to be despicable,” he said.

The judge told Mr Fleming he would hear mitigation on the next court date.

Mr Fleming said the accused was “not here to mess around” and would need four months to get the compensation.

“As a matter of fairness to you and your client, everything is on the table,” the judge added.

He adjourned the case to a date in March.

The charges against O’Brien were under Section 6 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act. He was remanded on continuing bail.

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