Sunday 25 March 2018

Former councillor found guilty of financial deception

Gary O'Flynn
Gary O'Flynn

Georgina O'Halloran

A FORMER Cork City councillor has been found guilty by a jury of financial deception.

Gary O'Flynn (38), with an address at Hayfield Drive, Castle Court, Whitechurch, Co Cork, had pleaded not guilty to 21 sample counts of financial deception contrary to the Criminal Justice Theft and Fraud Offences Act 2001.

A jury of eight men and four women returned unanimous guilty verdicts on 13 of the counts relating to Eric Higgins, a builder who sought Mr O'Flynn's help to manage his debts, after deliberating for two hours and 18 minutes.

The jury found that Mr O'Flynn, pictured, the son of former Cork Fianna Fail TD Noel O'Flynn, induced Mr Higgins by deception to lodge money to a nominated bank account on the pretence that the money would be paid to specified creditors, with the intention of making a gain for himself.

The 13 charges involve sums totalling €1,000 and the offences occurred on dates between December 31, 2009 and January 27, 2012.

The jury found Mr O'Flynn not guilty in relation to five counts involving Deborah O'Shea.

Earlier in the five-day trial, Judge Sean O'Donnabhain had directed the jury to find Mr O'Flynn not guilty in relation to a further three counts involving Ms O'Shea.

Prosecution counsel Jane Hyland (BL) told the trial that Mr Higgins had paid more than €6,000.

The trial heard that Mr Higgins fell into arrears with loans he had with Bank of Scotland and Friends First.

Mr Higgins said that every six months he'd receive correspondence from one or both of the banks threatening legal action and that he'd ring Mr O'Flynn and ask him what was going on.

In January 2012 Mr Higgins received a letter indicating that the bank were taking him to court in April.

He phoned Mr O'Flynn who informed him that he was not involved in that business anymore and that his file was with a solicitor's firm in Blarney.

Mr O'Flynn has been remanded in custody to appear again for sentencing on June 26.

He was granted free legal aid for the preparation of a medical report.

Irish Independent

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