Longford man stole over €10k from elderly couple

News reporter

Reporter:

News reporter

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes has ordered a man who stole over €10,000 from an elderly couple to pay €1,000 to Longford Hospice

A man who stole €10,500 from an elderly couple in Longford town was ordered to pay €1,000 to Longford Hospice following a hearing into the matter at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court.

Andrzej Paski (41), 46 White Linen Woods, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with stealing €10,500 at Ferefad, Longford on dates between June 1 and June 8, 2016.

The court heard that the case centered around two elderly people who were in their 80s and who did not want their names mentioned in court.

Inspector Bláithín Moran then outlined the evidence to the court.

She said that the defendant had been employed as a handyman at the home of an elderly couple in Ferefad, Longford for quite some time.

The couple, the court was told, had left a very substantial amount of money lying around in jars in their home.

“There was money in tins and jars around the home and the defendant had access to the house,” the Inspector added, before pointing out that on November 18 last, the lady of the house discovered that money was missing from those tins and jars.

“There was a total of €10,500 in the jars and it had gone missing.”

The lady then went to the Garda Station to report the matter.

The court then heard that a complaint in relation to the matter was made at Longford Garda Station in January of this year and the defendant was subsequently arrested in connection with the incident and questioned.

“During interview, Mr Paski made full admissions,” Inspector Moran added.

The court then heard that the elderly couple were “very upset” by what had transpired.

“They had given this man a chance to get on his feet when he came to Ireland and he broke that trust,” Inspector Moran told the court.

Meanwhile in mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Frank Gearty said his client had since paid back all the money.

“He is a married man with two children and was short of money at the time,” he added.

“This, of course, is no excuse but guilt and shame made him come forward and make an admission.”

Mr Gearty went on to say that his client felt complete shame over what he did.

“This is the only thing he has ever done like this in his life and he is so sorry for what has transpired,” the local solicitor added.

“He has never been in trouble before and deeply regrets what happened.”

During his deliberations on the matter Judge Hughes said that he would consider the elderly couple to have been naive to give the defendant the full run of their house.

He also pointed out that it was unacceptable for anyone nowadays to leave large amounts of money stashed around their home.

“If you leave €10,000 lying around in jars, well this is what can happen,” he stated.

“Let the message go out loud and clear - don’t have strangers in your house when you have €10,000 lying around in cookie jars.”

Meanwhile, the Judge also examined the fact that the defendant had paid back the money in full to the Longford town couple.

“He has paid full compensation, so I’m not going to send this man to prison,” he added.

The Judge then asked if the couple had a charity they would like some money to go to and he was told Longford Hospice was the charity they had chosen.

The Judge subsequently directed that the defendant pay €1,000 to Longford Hospice and ordered that the money be paid over by October 24 next.

Once the money was handed over, he added, the matter before him would subsequently be finalised.