Probation Act for Limerick man who forged wife's signature on claim

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Retired bus driver Brendan Lynch

Retired bus driver Brendan Lynch

A RETIRED Limerick bus driver, who fraudulently cashed an insurance policy, worth more than €40,000, by forging his wife’s signature has been placed on probation for 12 months.

Brendan Lynch, aged 73, who has an address at Kilmurry Lodge, Elm Park, Castletroy previously  pleaded guilty to two charges relating to offences when occurred on dates in February and March 2003.

During a sentencing last year, Detective Garda Brian Cunningham told Limerick Circuit Court the defendant and his now ex-wife took out a joint insurance policy with Hibernian Life and Pensions in 1988 and that he cashed it in without her knowledge in 2008.

Mrs Lynch, he said, only became aware of this in early 2014 when she was making enquiries in relation to a separate insurance policy.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told while Mrs Lynch did not pay into the policy, she was entitled to receive half of the €40,655.94 which was paid out.

Handwriting experts confirmed that signatures – purporting to be those of Mrs Lynch – on the form requesting payment and the cheque were fake.

Det Garda Cunningham said the defendant and his wife, who were married in 1967, had lived together in Birr, County Offaly until they separated towards the end of 2012.

Having heard details of the offence, Judge O’Donnell reviewed the matter for review and at a hearing before Christmas he was informed the defendant had paid €10,000 compensation to his estranged wife.

While commenting  that there had been a “complete sense of betrayal” and a  breach of trust, the judge noted that full compensation has now been paid to the injured party.

Given Mr Lynch’s age and previous good character, he applied the provisions of the Probation Act.