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Friday 14 December 2018

Conman jailed for selling fans tickets that did not exist

Robert Keogh turned to crime to finance gambling addiction
Robert Keogh turned to crime to finance gambling addiction

A serial conman who took money from football and music fans for non-existent tickets to fund his severe gambling habit has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Robert Keogh (36), who worked as a business analyst and was a talented GAA player, developed a gambling addiction while recovering from an injury, Swords District Court heard.

His gambling began small but spiralled into a "terrible addiction", causing him to lose his house, his fiancee and job.

He has since paid the victims of his scams their money back, totalling €620.

However, he had been ordered by Judge Dermot Dempsey to come up with additional compensation for one of his victims, who had travelled to Liverpool for a soccer game but never received the tickets Keogh promised her.

He had been unable to come up with the extra money as he was jailed for a year for similar offences last April.

Inducing

Keogh, of Hazelbury Green, Clonsilla, had pleaded guilty to dishonestly inducing a woman to hand over €270 for two tickets to a Liverpool v Manchester Utd match on December 8, 2015, at AIB on Dublin's Dame Street.

He further pleaded guilty to the theft of €170 from a man for a Parnells GAA pass on December 10, 2015, at Tobersool Lane, Balbriggan, and to stealing €180 from the same victim at the Huntsman Pub, Gormanston, on December 12, 2015.

Keogh used an alias online, but his name was on the bank account used, which led him to being caught by gardai.

Defence lawyer Annette Kealy said Keogh was "deeply ashamed" and had since undergone rehabilitation for gambling.

"He didn't have compassion for anyone and took the money to gamble," she said.

Ms Kealy said Keogh was working as a cleaner in prison and was teaching literacy and numeracy.

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