Thursday 23 May 2019

Former property investor who stole deposits from would-be-tenants - including mother and girl (8) left homeless - drops appeal

Jonathan Chubb at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Pic Collins Courts.
Jonathan Chubb at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Pic Collins Courts.

Ruaidhrí Giblin

A former property investor who stole deposits from would-be tenants, including one woman who found herself and her daughter (8) homeless as a result of his fraud, has dropped an appeal against the severity of his sentence at the last minute.

Jonathan Chubb (38) of Keeper Road, Drimnagh, in Dublin pleaded guilty to 34 counts of theft and one count of money laundering between March 2013 and July 2015. He also pleaded guilty to providing a false reference, deception and possession of a forged driving licence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Chubb - brother of Kinahan cartel enforcer Gareth Chubb - stole deposits from 11 people who believed he was the landlord of an apartment for rent at Oblate View, Tyrconnell Road, in Dublin.

Garda Nathan McKenna told prosecuting lawyers that people had arrived at the address expecting to move into the property but found “maybe fifteen people who had turned up to do the same thing”.

Gda McKenna said one woman, with no family or support in Dublin, found herself and her eight-year-old daughter homeless as a result of Chubb's fraud.

He netted almost €50,000 from the series of thefts and fraudulent schemes and was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended by Judge Karen O’Connor on June 1, 2018.

Judge O'Connor said Chubb's offending was extremely premeditated in nature, involving multiple victims over a long period of time.

She said it was particularly disturbing that he was aware that one woman he took a rental deposit from was living in a woman's refuge, yet he stole her money anyway, after having spoken to her social worker.

Chubb was due to appeal the severity of his sentence today.

However, before the case came on for hearing, President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham told Chubb’s lawyers that their client should be made aware of the court’s full range of powers, namely, the power to increase sentences as well as reduce them.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the case appeared to be “singular” because of the “very vulnerable” nature of the victims in a “housing emergency”.

After a few moments, Chubb’s barrister, James Dwyer SC, said his client wished to withdraw the appeal.

Dressed in a navy tracksuit, Chubb himself confirmed to the court “yeah, that’s right”.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, said Chubb had been “very well advised”.

He has 27 previous convictions including 12 for theft and fraud offences and 16 for road traffic offences.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that one of Chubb’s victim’s suspected something was wrong after handing over a €900 deposit to Chubb, so she phoned him and asked for her money back.

After he reassured her, she apologised for doubting him, gave him another €2000 and a box of chocolates by way of apology, the court heard.

Another of Chubb's victims told gardaí the defendant had handed him a key to the apartment and told him the property needed a few repairs and said he could move in the following week.

This man took a photo of Chubb, who was using the alias Darren Hartigan, and later gave it to gardaí.

Jonathan Chubb's younger brother, Gareth Chubb (32), is a well-known Dublin criminal who as strong ties to the Kinahan cartel.

Although Jonathan is not involved in organised crime, his sibling has been a long-term target for gardai investigating the international crime gang’s activities in the inner-city.

In 2017, Gareth Chubb was cleared by a Dutch court of the attempted manslaughter of a drug dealer who tried to sell him baking soda instead of cocaine.

However, he was jailed for six months for possession of a loaded gun he pulled out at an Amsterdam cafe during the terrifying incident.

Gareth Chubb, a convicted drug dealer, has been targeted by a number of local and national garda units including the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

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