Man who claimed dead mother's pension is jailed
A thief who claimed his late mother's pension for 17 years after her death has been jailed for a year-and-a-half.
Father-of-two Brian Bobey (64) admitted stealing almost €160,000 between 1997 and 2013. At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, judge Patricia Ryan rejected an offer made through Bobey's lawyer, Blaise O'Carroll, to repay the debt at a weekly rate of €50.
The court heard it would take more than 63 years to reimburse the State at that rate.
"He's incredibly remorseful," said Mr O'Carroll
The court heard Bobey was in receipt of disability benefit after losing the sight in his right eye as a result of a tumour. His income from social welfare is €195 a week, and he has osteoporosis.
Judge Ryan said the serious nature of the fraud over such a long period of time warranted a custodial sentence.
However, she excused Bobey from repaying the debt due to his medical conditions, his straitened circumstances and his remorse. 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.
In total, €158,726 was stolen by Bobey, who still lives at his late parents' house in Walkinstown Parade, Dublin 12, with his partner and daughter.
Mr O'Carroll said his client cared for both parents, who suffered ill health in their final years, his father dying in 1995. Bobey's daughter Grace told the court he had always supported her and was "a great dad".