herald

Wednesday 22 August 2018

'Stay off dating sites' €14k theft accused is told

A 38-year old Ennis man charged with stealing €14,650 from a woman has been told to stay off dating websites including smooch.com and plentyoffish.com.

At Ennis District Court, Alan Custy of Dun na hInse, Lahinch Road, Co Clare has appeared in connection with five separate charges of stealing €14,650 from the woman over a five month period last year.

Insp Tom Kennedy told the court that Gardai have no objection to bail provided that Mr Custy enters into a number or conditions.

WEBSITES

One of the conditions is that he refrain from monitoring or creating accounts or profiles on the websites smooch.com; plentyoffish.com; and communitysingles.com.

In court, Det Garda Claire O'Shaughnessy gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution concerning the five separate charges.

Mr Custy is charged with stealing €3,900 contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act from the woman in the district court area of Limerick between November 19 and 31 last as well as stealing €3,400 from the woman in the same area on November 18 last.

He was also charged with stealing €700 from her in the same area on September 17, 2013; stealing €3,450 from her between July 3 and 7, 2013 and stealing €3,200 from the woman on June 17, 2013.

Det O'Shaughnessy said that in reply to caution, Mr Custy responded: "I didn't steal anything off her, how did I steal money off her?"

He added in response to a separate charge: "Same as the last one, I didn't steal anything off her. I'm not denying she didn't give me loans, but I'm trying to pay her back. I'm trying to get work and I'm opening my own company."

Mr Custy said that he had the same reply to the remaining charges.

Insp Kennedy said that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has stated that the case will go forward on indictment to the circuit court. This will involve the preparation of a Book of Evidence.

The penalty for those convicted of stealing under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act in the circuit court is a fine or a prison sentence of up to ten years.

Contact

As part of the bail conditions, Mr Custy has also given an undertaking not to make any contact directly or indirectly with the alleged injured party, and not to make any contact with any witnesses in the case.

Insp Kennedy applied for a court order that the name of the alleged injured party not be published and Judge Patrick Durcan acceded to that request

Solicitor for Mr Custy, Tara Godfrey, also applied that her client not be named.

"Mr Custy's name shouldn't be reported either for some amount of fair play at this early stage. I would ask that Mr Custy's name be similarly treated," she said.

Insp Kennedy said that it would be a very unusual order to make and Judge Durcan said: "I am not making that order Ms Godfrey."

Judge Durcan remanded Mr Custy on bail to re-appear before court to allow time for the service of the Book of Evidence on November 26 next and granted an extension of time for the service of the Book of Evidence.

hnews@herald.ie

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