Conman who fleeced would-be tenants for €50k drops appeal
A former property investor who stole deposits from would-be tenants has dropped an appeal against the severity of his sentence at the last minute.
Jonathan Chubb (38), of Keeper Road, Drimnagh, Dublin, pleaded guilty to 34 counts of theft and one count of money laundering between March 2013 and July 2015.
He also admitted providing a false reference, deception and possessing a forged driving licence.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Chubb stole dep- osits from 11 people who believed he was the landlord of an apartment for rent in Oblate View, Tyrconnell Road, Dublin.
Gda Nathan McKenna said people had arrived at the address expecting to move into the property, but found "maybe 15 people who had turned up to do the same thing".
Gda McKenna said one woman found herself and her eight-year-old daughter homeless as a result of Chubb's fraud.
He netted nearly €50,000 and was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended on June 1 last year.
In sentencing him, Judge Karen O'Connor said his offending was extremely premeditated in nature, involving multiple victims over a long period of time.
She said it was particularly disturbing that he was aware that one woman he stole a rental deposit from was living in a women's refuge.
Chubb was due to appeal against the severity of his sentence yesterday.
However, before the case came up, Court of Appeal president Mr Justice George Birmingham told Chubb's lawyers that their client should be made aware that the court had the power to increase sentences as well as reduce them.
After a few moments, Chubb's barrister, James Dwyer, said his client wished to withdraw the appeal.
Dressed in a navy tracksuit, Chubb himself confirmed this to the court, saying: "Yeah, that's right."
Mr Justice Birmingham said he had been "very well advised".
Chubb has 27 previous convictions for theft and fraud and road traffic offences.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard one of his victims suspected something was wrong after handing over a €900 deposit to Chubb, so she asked for her money back.
After he reassured her, she apologised for doubting him, gave him an additional €2,000 and a box of chocolates by way of apology, the court heard.
Another victim told gardai the defendant had handed him a key to the apartment but told him it needed a few repairs and said he could move in the following week.
He took a photo of Chubb, who was using the alias Darren Hartigan, and later gave it to gardai.