Monday 16 September 2019

Woman who took over €10K in rental deposits given year to pay money back

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Brion Hoban

A woman who took over €10,000 in rental deposits from eight prospective lodgers and then refused them access to her house has been given 12 months to pay the money back.

Olga Leschen (50) with an address at Ballentree Drive, Tyrrelstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing the money over a six-week period between September and October 2015.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan adjourned the sentencing for 12 months to allow Leschen, who arrived in court with €5,000, the opportunity to pay the injured parties back their money.

Garda Tom McCarrick told Grainne O’Neill BL, prosecuting, Leschen advertised renting her house on and took deposits from eight different parties. The amount of money paid to Leschen ranged from €200 to €2,600.

Leschen emailed each of the eight parties informing them of impending surgeries or other health issues and pushed back the date they were to move into her house. None of the parties were ever allowed to take up residence in her house and none of the deposits were returned.

Leschen was arrested on October 25th 2015. She initially denied the allegations saying that “if I take something I always give it back.”

Cathal McGreal BL, defending, said that Leschen pleaded guilty to the charges at her first date in the Circuit Court. He said she expressed remorse and had written letters of apology to each of the injured parties.

Mr McGreal said Leschen’s husband had been physically abusive and that he left her and their children without any money. Leschen has medical problems which prevent her from working.

Leschen has no previous convictions. She has already paid one of the injured parties the €200 she stole and arrived in court with €5,000.

Judge O’Sullivan said “there was no sophistication” to the theft. He ordered that the €5,000 be split evenly between the injured parties.

He adjourned sentencing until October 25th 2018. He said that if Leschen paid the injured parities back in that time it would be beneficial for her sentencing.

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