herald

Monday 25 September 2017

Man conned OAP out of €2,250 for just '2 hours' work'

John Connors ‘hoodwinked’ an 82-year-old woman who had dementia
John Connors ‘hoodwinked’ an 82-year-old woman who had dementia

A father-of-six "hoodwinked" an 82-year-old woman who had early on-set dementia out of €2,250 for roofing work he did not carry out.

John Connors (36), of Wyckham Avenue, Dundrum, admitted taking the money from the woman's home in February last year.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard he had three previous convictions for assault and public order.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced him to three years in prison. However, he suspended this in full on strict conditions.

Judge Nolan said it was a serious crime, but accepted Connors had repaid the woman, expressed remorse and had no serious previous convictions.

Garda Alan Reddy told the court that the woman's son visited her home in Carpenterstown several times a week to check on her and carry out any necessary repair work.

On one such occasion, he noticed his mother had written a cheque for €2,250.

She said she handed over the cheque when a man called at the house claiming the roof needed repairing.

Her son checked the roof and was satisfied that, at most, 10 minutes worth of work had been done to it. He also checked the gardens and other areas to ensure no other repairs had been carried out.

Gardai were contacted and Connors was easily identified because he cashed the cheque in his own bank account.

When he was arrested in May, he claimed he had spent three days repairing the roof and a patio, and trimming hedges.

He said the woman had acknowledged that the work needed to be done.

Gda Reddy told the court he was satisfied Connors could not have spent more than two hours working on the roof.

He said the other work Connors claimed to have done was not done at all.

Anger

Gda Reddy agreed with Kitty Perle, defending, that her client met with the victim's son in the garda station who "rightfully expressed his anger" about what he had done to his mother.

She said the meeting was a "wake-up" call for her client who now fully understood the seriousness of the offence.

She said he was the family's sole breadwinner because his wife was unable to work due to poor health.

She asked the court to accept that it was "a serious error in judgement" and said references described Connors as a "trustworthy and reliable man".

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