Sunday 19 January 2020

Victim allegedly decieved by district court judge was of sound mind, court hears

Declan Brennan

THE trial of a District Court judge accused of attempting to deceive an elderly man out of half his estate has heard the alleged victim is not suffering from any memory problems.

Heather Perrin (60) is accused of tricking Thomas Davis into bequeathing half his €1m estate to her two children while he was a client of her solicitors firm.

The trial has previously heard testimony from Mr Davis, who is in his eighties, that he wished to leave the vast majority of his estate to his two nieces who live in England.

He said he only intended to leave €2 ,000 each to the Perrin children.

On the sixth day of the trial prosecuting counsel Dominic McGinn SC asked Mr Davis' GP, Dr Michael Malone, if Mr Davis is suffering from any memory problems.

Dr Malone said that Mr Davis has good mental capacity and added that he recently told gardai that Mr Davis is “mentally fine”.

The trial has already heard that when the alleged deception came to light, Ms Perrin claimed the mistake was on the part of Mr Davis and his wife and that she had drawn up the will in line with their wishes at the time.

Ms Perrin of Lambay Court, Malahide has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to deceptively inducing Mr Davis to bequeath half of his estate to Sybil and Adam Perrin at her office on Fairview Strand on January 22, 2009.

She was made a judge in February 2009 after running a solicitors practice in Fairview of which Mr Davis was a long-standing client.

Dr Malone told the court that he has signed a number of documents attesting to the mental capacity of Mr Davis and his wife to understand the significance of handing over power of attorney to a solicitors firm.

He said that on January 22, 2009 he was contacted by the accused who asked him to complete a document attesting to the mental capacity of Mr Davis.

He agreed with Mr McGinn that she did not ask him to carry out any examination of their mental capacity but said that he did this before completing the document.

He said on April 30, 2010 he was contacted by O'Hanrahan Quaney solicitors, who took over Ms Perrin’s practice, asking him if he had any concerns about the couple's mental capacity and he told them he didn't. He said he later signed a document to that effect.

He told Patrick Gageby SC, defending, that in September 2010 difficulties with Mrs Davis's mental capacity began to manifest themselves medically. He said that this happened quickly and that problems with her intellect have progressed since then.

The case continues before Judge Mary Ellen Ring and a jury of eight men and four women.

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