Man posed as Irish Water official to deceive elderly Kerry people

A father of one who posed as an Irish Water official in order to take money from three elderly people is to be sentenced later this year. Gavel 1 32 year old Patrick O’Brien of 10 Convent Road, Abbeyfeale pleaded guilty to three counts including obtaining money by deception, theft and burglary on January 21st, 27th and 28th 2014. Tralee Circuit Court heard Mr O’Brien called to the home of a 93 year old woman in Tralee who lived alone and claimed to be from Irish Water. He said she had to pay €3,500 otherwise the utility would impose a levy. When she said she didn’t have the money he drove her to the AIB branch on Castle Street where a bank official became concerned and contacted Gardai but Mr O’Brien, who was waiting outside, had made his escape. Later that month Mr O’Brien called to the home of 80 year old woman in a rural area of Killorglin where he stole €500, he also stole €500 from a 78 year old man in Castlemaine who he told the money would be used for an Irish Water machine. No victim impact statements were prepared by the victims who the court heard are now living in fear and afraid to answer their doors. Defence Barrister Brian McInerney said his client, who has 34 previous convictions, has a gambling addiction. Judge Tom O’Donnell said a person’s home is their castle and this goes beyond the theft of money; it is a blow to their independence. He said the accused had singled out vulnerable, elderly people. He remanded the accused in custody until December 4th for sentence as he wanted to reflect on the serious matter.