Brothers who posed as Irish Water workers to obtain money from elderly appear before Tralee Circuit Court

A Limerick man who obtained money from elderly people in Kerry by claiming he was an employee of Irish Water has been jailed for four years. Tralee courthouse2 32-year-old Patrick O’Brien, of 10 Convent Road Abbeyfeale, was convicted of making a gain by deception, theft and burglary at three separate locations in Kerry in January last year. His victims were aged 78, 80 and 92. Judge Tom O’Donnell reserved judgment on his brother, Mark O’Brien of 7 Hillview Drive, Abbeyfeale who admits entering the home of the 80-year-old woman to commit theft. Patrick O’Brien presented himself as an agent of Irish Water when he called to the home of a 92-year-old woman on January 21st, 2014 and persuaded her to go to her bank and withdraw €1,000. A vigilant bank clerk notified her manager, who contacted the gardaí but by the time they arrived O’Brien had left. However, he was clearly identifiable on CCTV. On January 27th that year he and his brother Mark called to the home of an 80-year-old woman in the Killorglin area, telling her they were from Irish Water. After giving him €20, Patrick O’Brien stole her purse which contained €500 while Mark O’Brien and another man went through her bedroom. On the same day Patrick O’Brien entered the home of a 78-year-old man and tricked him into paying him €500. Tralee Circuit Criminal Court heard all three victims were living in isolated areas and no longer open their doors to strangers. The money was never recovered. Patrick O’Brien, a married father of one, is currently serving a three-year jail sentence and has previous convictions for theft and deception. The court heard Mark O’Brien, who was 19 at the time, was under the influence of his brother. Judge Tom O’Donnell imposed two four-year jail terms on Patrick O’Brien, backdated to July when he was arraigned, and one six-year term but suspended the last two years of this on condition he remains bound to the peace for five years. He reserved judgement on Mark O’Brien until the April 25th sitting of the court.