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Tuesday 27 September 2016

Gambler blew €23k after stealing bank details from girlfriend's mum

a 26-year old man cleaned out the bank account of his girlfriend's mother when he went on a five-month-long €22,706 betting spree.

Gambling addict Killian Torpey, of Mahonburg, Inch, Co Clare, stole the credit card details of his recently-widowed neighbour, Mary McNamara, in June 2012 while at her home and set up an online account with bookmakers Paddy Power.

Torpey, who was in a relationship with Mrs McNamara's daughter, then embarked on his online betting frenzy on the horses, the dogs and football until November of that year.

On one day alone on October 16, the electrician put on €2,300 in eight separate bets. Two days later he gambled €2,200.

Torpey's betting spree reached a peak during that week when he bet €6,700 between the Monday and the Friday.

Chasing

At Ennis Circuit Court, Torpey's counsel, Lorcan Connolly BL, said the bets showed a typical pattern of a gambling addict "when he was chasing losses made earlier in the day, and the size of his bet would increase as the day went on".

Torpey pleaded guilty to 15 sample theft counts of 155 theft counts before the court.

Finally, on November 19, 2012, Mr Torpey decided to call a halt to his betting spree. He later told gardai that "it was such an amount of money. I knew this day was going to come and [it was] damage limitation I suppose".

Three days after Mr Torpey's final bet, Mrs McNamara went to withdraw money from her bank account in Ennis and found that not only had it been cleaned out, but it was overdrawn by €1,426.

She reported it to her bank and gardai, and an investigation led to the Paddy Power account. The bookmakers later reimbursed the money to her.

Deception

Torpey told gardai that it was always his intention to pay the money back with winnings, but the losses mounted. He said he was "like a member of the (McNamara) family" before his deception was detected.

The court heard that Torpey's relationship with Mrs McNamara's daughter broke up as a result of his thievery.

Judge Keyes said that it seems wrong that Mr Torpey could walk from the court without paying any monies over.

He said: "He stole €24,000 and he has paid none of it back to anyone."

Mr Connolly said Torpey did get not get any benefit from the stolen money and proposed paying over €5,000.

However, Judge Keyes described the €5,000 as "a very small sum" and has given Torpey until April 28 to propose a scheme and the monies would go to a charity.

He remanded Torpey on bail to that date.

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