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Gambler conned friend out of s5.5k to pay debt

A REFORMED gambler who duped an elderly man into handing him over €5,500 for a bogus business venture has been given a final chance to repay the money.

Robert Hammond (40) was desperate for cash at the time after he and his family was threatened by a moneylender.

He persuaded the victim to invest in a bogus business venture, buying reclaimed slate for a large renovation project – but there was no big renovation project.

Hammond previously said he believed the threat made to him and his family was genuine, and he deceived the victim into handing him the money so he could pay off the moneylender.

He has been slowly repaying the money, which he stole nearly four years ago. A court heard he had €400 in court and the outstanding balance was €2,410.

Judge John Lindsay adjourned the matter to October to allow Hammond bring a further sum to court.

Hammond, of Cois Cairn, Old Connaught Avenue, in Bray, had admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to inducing another man to give him €5,500.

The incident took place at Ulster Bank, George's Street Upper, Dun Laoghaire, on September 25, 2009.

A garda sergeant previously said Hammond and the victim, who is retired, were friends, and knew each other through their children.

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He persuaded the victim to invest €5,500 in a business buying reclaimed slate for a major refurbishment project, and said the slates had to be paid for upfront.

The victim agreed to invest in the project, and he handed Hammond a bank draft for €5,500.

He later discovered there was no refurbishment project.

Defence solicitor John Neville had said Hammond had a serious gambling problem, and borrowed money so he could gamble.

He was trying to repay the loan but couldn't, and his family was threatened.

Mr Neville said Hammond was waiting to receive a sum of money.

Judge Lindsay adjourned the matter to a date in October, saying Hammond needed to have money in court on that date.

hnews@herald.ie


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