Limerick Courthouse, Mulgrave Street
A FORMER Premier League youth player at Tottenham Hotspur has been imprisoned over his “cold, cunning and calculated” efforts to steal nearly €11,000 from a group of vulnerable pensioners.
Denis Igoe, 25, of Station Road, Ennis, pleaded guilty to 25 counts of theft, in which he stole credit and debit cards belonging to 10 victims, aged 65 to 91, between February 18 and March 3 this year.
The incidents occurred in three different counties – Limerick, Clare and Cork. The court heard that the accused pleaded guilty in July, and had been in custody since his arrest on March 6.
After losing his job at Phonewatch for whom he was a “top salesman” for a number of years, Mr Igoe called to a number of customers he had previously dealt with in the past, the court heard.
Citing evidence, Judge Tom O’Donnell said the accused offered the victims an update on existing alarm systems or install doorbell cameras.
“He then got the victims to furnish him with their credit and debit cards and their pin numbers,” the court heard.
This enabled him to retain their pin numbers. He would then “return to the innocent victims a different credit card from the same bank”. He would then “very quickly” go to an ATM machine “to withdraw very significant amounts”.
On two separate occasions, he withdrew €1,500 and €1,750 from banks with the stolen cards, the court heard.
The court heard that Mr Igoe, who is married with one child, used the names of “legitimate Phonewatch employees”, who were former colleagues.
The court heard that the accused would then “recycle the cards by giving them to the next victim”.
Judge Tom O’Donnell described the man’s methods as “cold, cunning, calculated in its execution”, and that the age profile of the 10 victims was an “aggravating factor”.
Three people submitted victim impact statements and that the “sense of betrayal and breach of trust and undermining of their confidence is palpable”.
The judge noted that the victims “are not out of pocket” and have been compensated by their respective banks. The court heard that “the accused, with the assistance of his family, has agreed to pay off the bank”.
The accused was “fully-cooperative” after he was arrested.
Judge O’Donnell said noted that Mr Igoe was a “talented soccer player” in his youth, having been on trials with Tottenham Hotspur, and that he had a “very promising burgeoning career” until he suffered an injury.
He had “developed a very serious cocaine habit that spiraled out of control” and landed him in debt. He was also the subject to “threats to his personal safety and his family”.
Judge Tom O’Donnell said the “reputational damage to Phonewatch” was an aggravating factor, in addition to the use of names of former fellow employees.
The early admissions and the remorse expressed were mitigating factors, in addition to his no previous convictions.
He handed down a two year sentence for each count, suspending the last 12 months, provided Mr Igioe keeps the peace for a period of two years, on his own bond of €100.
A condition of the suspended sentence is that Mr Igoe must cooperate with probation services for 12 months.
The sentence has been backdated to March 6, 2020.