Ex-Fine Gael mayor lived 'Walter Mitty' life, court told
THE ex-Fine Gael mayor on trial for corruption lived a 'Walter Mitty' life and was part of a story of "sordid jealousy, anger and rage", a jury heard yesterday.
Closing speeches were made by the prosecution and defence at the trial of Fred Forsey Jnr (43), a former Dungarvan town councillor, at Waterford Circuit Court.
Mr Forsey -- who left his wife, Jenny Forsey, for a younger lover, Karen Morrissey -- is accused of pocketing €80,000 from a developer in return for supporting a planning application.
Ms Forsey, who gave evidence of how her husband decided to "get in" with a developer on the second day of the trial, was present in court yesterday with the couple's eldest daughter.
Mr Forsey's fiancee, Karen Morrissey, appeared in the front row of the public gallery with other members of Mr Forsey's family.
His defence counsel, John Phelan, said Mr Forsey had lived the "Walter Mitty" life but that was "not a crime".
He said that the jury had heard a "sordid" story of "jealousy, anger and rage", but added, "there are two sides to every story".
Mr Phelan said that Mr Forsey, who denies the six counts of corruptly receiving funds, "didn't rob a bank" but went to a wealthy developer with his "hat in his hand".
Prosecutor Denis Vaughan Buckley said evidence put before the jury throughout the trial was "overwhelming".
Mr Vaughan Buckley said the accused agreed the developer was a "tough and hard businessman" but admitted in garda interviews "of course, there was no free meal".
Mr Phelan said Mr Forsey had been "living beyond" his means with Ms Forsey and "keeping up with the Joneses".
He told the jury the accused had "no power" as a town councillor to vote on rezoning as he did not hold a seat on Waterford County Council.
Mr Phelan said Mr Forsey had "unashamedly lobbied at every chance he got" but he added he was using his leverage "trying to promote Dungarvan".
Judge Gerard Griffin is expected to finish his summary of the case today before the jury is sent out to begin deliberating.