Former Killarney resident jailed for 18 months for defrauding elderly man

A former Killarney resident, who was part of a team of fraudsters that made an 81-year-old man pay over €14,000 for work to his roof that was worth €1,000, has been jailed for 18 months. By DubhEire (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons 31 year old Thomas Coffey of Angler’s Walk, Carlow Town, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing €4,800 from Sinclair Downey at his Dublin home in September 2013. His 19 previous convictions include four for theft, some of which involve similar type of offence; stealing money from people claiming that legitimate work had been done on their home. In evidence Garda Colleen Doherty said Mr Coffey and his accomplice; Patrick O’Brien called to the man’s home looking for further payment on unauthorised work to the man’s roof. They claimed that Mr Downey had only paid for half of the roof tiles and insisted that he owed a further €4,800. They then drove the man to the nearest bank and waited with him while he withdrew the cash from an ATM. Thomas Coffey was arrested at his then Kerry home in Ballyspillane, Killarney on November 4, 2013. 32 year Patrick O’Brien of Convent Road, Abbeyfeale, Limerick, was jailed for four years last July after he pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing €14,200 from Mr Downey. His 29 previous convictions include 12 for theft, some of which involve a similar pattern of makng elderly people pay over the odds for work carried out on their homes. He is due to be sentenced in Tralee Circuit Criminal Court later this year for a similar offence.