A KILDARE businessman who stole his elderly mother’s credit card to buy hotel breaks and holidays abroad has been spared jail and ordered to pay the money back.
Raymond Quinn (46) was caught on bank CCTV cameras each time he used the card to withdraw up to its €600 daily limit. He booked hotels, including a stay at the Brooklodge Hotel in Wicklow, and signed the receipts in his own name.
Quinn, who owes €158,000 from his import-export business, also booked flights for him and his girlfriend with the card.
His defence counsel submitted that although Quinn has the business debt, a €24,980 credit union loan and €20,000 owed to the Revenue, he had paid off some private debts with his mother’s credit card.
Quinn, of Jigginstown Green, Naas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to six sample charges of stealing money from Amy Quinn at AIB banks in Blessington and Naas and Ulster Bank in Blessington on dates between August 2 and October 31, 2012.
He admitted one charge of stealing her credit card at Brittas, Co Dublin, on August 6, 2012. He has no
Gda Mark Shortt said the unauthorised transactions on the card totalled €14,153. He said Quinn told gardai after his arrest that he would visit his then 77-year-old mother, take her credit card and return it to her bag once he had completed the transactions.
Mrs Quinn is now in a nursing home and has dementia.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring noted that Quinn had only proposed at a late stage in the case to start repaying the money to his mother and said it was now time to put this into action.
“He is a thief. If he had gone into a shop and put his hand into the till while the staff were not looking, it would be the same offence,” said Judge Ring.
She suspended a sentence of three years and ordered Quinn, who is in receipt of a social welfare payment of €188-a-week, to pay back €8-a-week for the next three years.
Gda Shortt told prosecution counsel Maurice Coffey that Quinn had “felt hard done by” over the sale of family property.
He admitted in interview that he had carried out €9,480 of unauthorised credit card transactions. He disputed the higher amount of more than €14,000, saying: “I felt the time had come to reclaim what was mine, albeit through a dishonest fashion.”
Gda Shortt told Mr Coffey that Quinn’s brother had paid their mother’s credit card bill by direct debit each month and noticed after examining the bill that there were several unauthorised transactions over a number of months.
Mr McCarthy submitted to Judge Ring that his client is in “dire straits” financially, but pays €2,800-a-month in maintenance to his three children and estranged wife.
He said Quinn ran a business importing and exporting PVC panelling, chicken feet and gizzards between China and India.
Counsel said he “deeply regrets” his actions and had hoped to start repaying his mother up to €300-a-month.
When Judge Ring asked if Quinn had sought any financial advice on his business debts, Mr McCarthy replied that his client had “displayed an ostrich-like approach” with this situation.