| 17°C Dublin

Gambler duped friend into giving him €5,500

THIS is the gambler who conned an elderly man out of €5,500 by persuading him to invest in a bogus business venture.

Robert Hammond (40) was friends with the victim when he duped him into handing over the money, which he then used to pay off his own gambling debts.

Judge Anthony Halpin gave Hammond more time to pay full compensation before sentencing, after hearing he still had more than €2,000 to repay, after three years.

Hammond of Cois Cairn, Old Connaught Avenue in Bray, had pleaded guilty at Dun Laoghaire District Court to deceiving the victim into giving him €5,500.

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

The court heard he was desperate for cash at the time after he and his family were threatened by a moneylender.

When the case came before Judge Halpin, defence barrister Rory Staines said the defendant had another €320 compensation to hand over and the balance was now €2,090.


The judge said the case had been going on since 2010.

Mr Staines said there was a will that was "going through the system".

He added that Hammond was hoping to pay everything when that was finalised.

"It sounds like Jarndyce v Jarndyce in Bleak House here", Judge Halpin said, referring to Charles Dickens' fictional long-running legal case.

"Didn't he think it might not finalise in his favour?" the judge said.

The case was put back for several hours and when it was recalled, Mr Staines said the defendant had been paying around €40 per week and he appreciated the gravity of the situation.

Sgt Peadar McCann said the victim was "quite happy" for matters to progress in the way they had done.

Mr Staines said Hammond was now proposing to get a loan to pay off the balance.

He was due to start work in January and could repay the loan.

Judge Halpin adjourned the case to January 21.

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