A mother of two has said she will never forgive a Longford fraudster who duped her and other victims out of thousands of euro in a sophisticated electrical goods scam.
Jacqui Hanrahan was left to foot a four figure sum after her former friend Gerard Hawkins offered to purchase a number of high value electrical items for her, including a series of laptops and ipads.
Mr Hawkins, who has addresses at 12 Gort na Noir, Abbeyleix, and Longford took the money Ms Hanrahan had been given by a friend of her sister’s.
The goods, however, were never handed over, leaving unemployed Ms Hanrahan to pick up the tab.
Mr Hawkins was last week convicted of three counts of theft at Portlaoise District Court after failing to provide compensation to his victims.
During the hearing, it emerged Mr Hawkins had only recently returned from a holiday in Turkey despite failing to provide €600 to each of his victims.
Handing down the six month prison term, Judge Catherine Staines hit out at the lack of remorse shown by the accused.
“Not one penny of compensation has been paid,” she said. “These people are now in financial difficulties themselves.
“You have defrauded people and then I find out from one of those people that you have been on holiday in Turkey.”
Speaking exclusively to the Leader this week, Ms Hanrahan said she is still coming to terms with her ordeal.
“I thought he (Mr Hawkins) was a friend, he was in my house so yes I feel very let down,” she said.
Ms Hanrahan admitted she had paid a hefty price, but hoped the incident would provide a telling reminder to others about the dangers linked to confidence tricksters.
“Even in court the other day he (Mr Hawkins) tried to approach me, saying: ‘Can I have five minutes of your time?’” revealed Ms Hanrahan. “I just said: ‘Gerry you could have had any amount of my time two years ago’.
“I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive him for what he has done.”