Thursday 18 January 2018

Man (62) never gave permission for woman (37) to take €102k from account, court hears

Criminal Courts of Justice
Criminal Courts of Justice

Declan Brennan

A man has told a court that he never gave permission to a younger woman to take over €102,000 from his bank account.

Sandra Doyle (37) has denied stealing the money from the AIB bank account of Fergus Brugha (62) over the course of three years.

The trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard evidence that the disputed transactions include payments to Ticketmaster, online motor tax, a veterinary clinic, a beauty clinic, a Dundrum credit union account and mobile phone top ups..

Ms Doyle of McCabe’s Villas, Booterstown, Dublin and formerly of  Meadowgate, Knockmullen,  Gorey, Co Wexford has pleaded not (NOT) guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 131 counts of theft at AIB Bank, Morehampton Road, Donnybrook between September 2008 and May 2010.

The court heard that Mr Brugha's mother died in 2006 and left him with an inheritance of a sum of money.

Mr Brugha told the court that the accused was aged 17 or 18 when they first met when he was working as a chef in Loughlinstown hospital in south Dublin. She was working as a general operative or “pot walloper” in the kitchen and he said she was very interested in becoming a chef.

He told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that they were never in a sexual relationship, saying: “I treated her more or less like a daughter. We were just friend's work colleges and friends”.

He said he gave her money to do a college course and he set her up with a catering job in an Irish pub in Germany.

He said when she returned to Ireland they met by chance in 2007 and he went for a drink with her and her then boyfriend and met her regularly after that.

About a year later Ms Doyle moved down to Gorey, Co Wexford, Mr Brugha said. He visited her there a number of times and he later moved down there, saying: “When I went down to Gorey with my inheritance I was hoping to open up a little coffee shop”.

He said at one stage he booked a holiday to Majorca for himself, the accused and her then boyfriend. He said Ms Doyle booked this on the internet for them all using his bank card.

He said in March 2009 the accused rang him to tell him she had given birth to her son and he told her he'd buy her a pram. He testified that he bought the pram.

He told counsel that in 2010 he became concerned when he checked his bank statement and noticed money going out to a credit union account.

He said he rang the accused and that she told him she might have spent some moeny. He said he was concerned. He said he hung up and she rang him a few times until he decided to change his number.

Mr Brugha told the court: “It was my fault in one way. I wasn’t checking my statements because I wasn’t spending a lot of money, I wasn’t checking.”

He went to garda in Gorey who advised him to make a complaint to garda in Donnybrook, where the bank account was located.

He told the court that while he was living with the accused he would pay bills like the ESB and rent by taking money out of his bank account and paying the landlord.

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and is set to last until Friday.

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