Wednesday 13 November 2019

Disgraced judge Perrin now guilty of false accounting

Heather Perrin
Heather Perrin

Fiona Ferguson

A FORMER district court judge who is already serving a jail sentence for deception has pleaded guilty to a further charge of false accounting.

Heather Perrin (61) is currently serving a two-and-a-half year sentence for attempting to deceive an elderly friend out of half of his estate and to include her children as major beneficiaries while he was a client of her solicitors' firm.

She became the first member of the judiciary in the history of the State to be convicted of a serious crime and resigned as a judge shortly before she was sentenced.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, she pleaded guilty to falsifying an account of the estate of the late Gary Doyle with the intention of making a gain between May 2004 and February 2009.

Perrin was brought to court from prison.

While a trial date had been set for March, the court was told that would not now be required and Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned sentencing to March 13.

At her hearing last November, Perrin had pleaded not guilty to deceptively inducing her elderly client Thomas Davis to bequeath half of his estate to her children, Sybil and Adam Perrin, at her office on Fairview Strand, north Dublin, on January 22, 2009.

At her sentencing hearing, Judge Mary Ellen Ring said it was one of the most serious breaches of trust to come before the courts and that there was little credit to be found for Perrin.

Scam

Mr and Mrs Davis were "a loving and generous couple" who trusted Perrin "because of a lifetime of shared experiences", said the judge. This was shown by the fact that they left Perrin's children €2,000 even after the scam was uncovered.

The judge said Mr Davis appeared more than capable of giving evidence but it was an aggravating factor that he had been made go through the trial process at his age.

He also had to deal with allegations from the defence that he had simply forgotten that he left half their estate to the Perrin children.

The judge said there were some offences where a jail term was unavoidable and it was regrettable that she had no other option but to jail Perrin.

Imposing a two-and-a-half year sentence, Judge Ring said she would have handed down a three-and-a-half year term if it wasn't for Perrin's health difficulties.

Irish Independent

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