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Thursday 19 October 2017

Man took €159k by claiming dead mum's pension for over 16 years

Brian Bobey still lives in his late parents’ Dublin house. Pic: Courtpix
Brian Bobey still lives in his late parents’ Dublin house. Pic: Courtpix

A Dublin man is to be sentenced next week after he admitted claiming his dead mother's pension for more than 16 years.

Father-of-two Brian Bobey (64) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to fraudulently taking a total of €158,726 in benefits from the State between 1997 and 2013.

The court heard yesterday that Bobey began claiming his mother's pension after her death in May 1997 and stopped in October 2013, following an investigation by the Department of Social Welfare.

Warrant

None of the money has yet been repaid by Bobey, who still lives at his late parents' house in Walkinstown Parade, Dublin, with his partner and daughter.

Garda Niall Gaynor told Garrett McCormack, prosecuting, that Bobey cooperated fully when a warrant was obtained to search his house, telling gardai he knew it was "in relation to my mam's pension".

He met gardai by appointment and identified himself on CCTV footage entering a post office to collect the pension.

Gda Gaynor agreed with counsel for the State that there was no evidence to suggest Bobey had been living "any sort of high life" from falsely claiming the pension.

The court heard Bobey himself was in receipt of disability benefit since he lost the sight in his right eye due to a tumour.

Bobey has 15 previous convictions, the most recent of which was in 2002 for drink driving.

The rest of the convictions are historic and relatively minor, dating back to 1971, when he was charged with loitering at the age of 18.

Blaise O'Carroll, for Bobey, said his client had cared for both of his parents, who suffered ill-health in their final years, his father having died two years before his mother.

Bobey's daughter Grace said her father had always been there for her.

"He's a great dad, I can't fault him, to be honest," said Ms Bobey.

The court heard Bobey was born in the council house where he is still a tenant, paying rent of €35 a week.

His income from social welfare is €195 a week, which Judge Patricia Ryan said she couldn't impose upon as it was decided based on need.

Mr O'Carroll said his client had been one of six children, whose father was a gambler and a violent alcoholic.

Judge Ryan adjourned the case for sentencing next Friday.

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