County Limerick online fraudster led gardai to his own door

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan


County Limerick online fraudster led gardai to his own door

Kilmallock Court

A criminal used his own details when he ordered toys and sportswear online with stolen debit cards.

John Harris, aged 23, of De Valera Park, Bruree pleaded guilty to four attempted fraud charges and to stealing a wheelbarrow.

Inspector Liam Wallace said Harris used debit cards he stole from a wallet during a burglary in Ballynoe, Bruree on April 23, 2018.

On the same date, Inspector Wallace said “significant amounts” of toys and clothes were ordered on the internet from JD Sports and Smyths Toys in Limerick city.

The investigating garda, David Higgins found that attempted purchases totalling €287.97 were made from the toy store and €1,277.89 from the sports fashion retailer.

Insp Wallace said: “Everything was recovered.”

Harris’s solicitor, Lee Ann Purcell said her client ordered the goods online and they were all “intercepted”. A wheelbarrow, valued at €200, stolen in Ballynoe, Bruree on the same date was also recovered.

Inspector Wallace said Harris has a total of 12 previous convictions including drugs, theft, burglary and road traffic offences.

Harris pleaded guilty last month in Kilmallock Court to a total of three burglaries in the village. He was sentenced to five months in prison and four months suspended. Appeal papers were lodged.

Ms Purcell said up to 18 months ago Harris was an apprentice welder.

“His relationship broke up and he started taking drugs. He quickly became addicted. He was heavily under the influence at the time of these offences. He described it as an ‘absolute haze’. He apologises to the court and is embarrassed by his behaviour,” said Mr Purcell.

She said Harris hopes to resume his apprenticeship and is “clean and sober”.

“He has made huge strides to exorcise his demons. He has not brought any trouble to his family’s door in recent times,” said Mr Purcell.

Judge Marian O’Leary ordered a pre-sanction report from the Probation Services and adjourned the case until April 26.

“Thanks, judge,” said Harris.