| 13.2°C Dublin

Bogus children's charity collector kept cash himself

A CONVICTED drug dealer who carried out a bogus charity collection that he claimed was for a children's hospital had already lodged some of the proceeds to his own bank account when gardai caught him.

Declan Cowan (31) was carrying out the door-to-door collection with fake donation sheets for Tallaght Hospital that he had printed off himself, a court heard.

He was already under a suspended portion of a 10-year sentence for drug dealing when he was caught making the fraudulent collection in north Dublin.

Cowan, with an address at Kingswood View, Tallaght, had pleaded not guilty to the offence, which happened at Palmerstown Woods, Clondalkin, on September 30, 2011.

Blanchardstown District Court heard that officers went to the scene following a report by garda control in relation to a collection being made.

No further information was given and the investigating gardai came across Cowan, who was concealing a blue clipboard with two sheets of paper attached.

He made an open admission that he was collecting money for the children's hospital in Tallaght and they asked him for identification. When he said he had none, they asked for proof that he was authorised to carry out the collection.

He then volunteered the admission that he was not, and that he had printed the sheets himself and lodged some of the money he had collected to his own account. There were 24 names and addresses with amounts of money filled in on the sheets. He was subsequently arrested and charged.

Seeking a dismissal in the case, the accused's barrister Jennifer Jackson argued that there was no evidence the accused had dishonestly deceived anyone.

Judge Anthony Halpin found him guilty of a charge of deception and remanded the defendant on bail to Naas Circuit Court for the sitting judge to consider the suspended part of the sentence.