Kidnapping plot McGeever guilty of wasting garda time
Former property developer Kevin McGeever has been given a suspended two-year sentence for wasting garda time by making false reports about being kidnapped at gunpoint three years ago in a bid to dodge his creditors.
Mr McGeever (71), with a former address at 'Nirvana' Ballywinna, Craughwell, Co Galway, and more recently in Clontarf, Dublin, entered the guilty plea moments before his trial was due to begin at Galway Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.
McGeever replied "guilty" when a single charge of giving false information to gardai between January 29 and February 28, 2013, about allegations of false imprisonment and threats to harm.
The facts in a second charge of giving false information, where he told gardai he had been falsely imprisoned, assaulted and threatened with harm during the same six-week period, were also admitted.
The court was told McGeever fabricated the entire story in a bid to shake off both Irish and international creditors who lost vast sums of money in failed investments he had undertaken on their behalf in Dubai following the economic crash in 2008.
Detective John Keating gave evidence McGeever was found lying on the side of the road by a couple near Ballinamore, Co Leitrim on January 29, 2013.
He told the couple he had been dumped on the side of the road and they brought him to the local garda station.
McGeever told gardai he had been abducted at gunpoint in Craughwell on May 27, 2012.
Det Keating said McGeever was consistent in all his statements that he was held 20 feet underground in a steel container for eight months, with no lighting, heating or sanitary facilities.
He said a six-week garda investigation got underway, involving 19 gardai, which ultimately cost the taxpayer €86,851.
The court heard McGeever later admitted that he had made up the story.
Judge Rory McCabe said the gardai had enough to do rather than chase false trails.
He said the offence would ordinarily merit a custodial sentence.
However the judge added: "If I send him to prison, the taxpayer will have to pay for his upkeep; to house, clothe and feed him, so I will suspend the sentence for five years."