A PROBATION report has been requested in the case of a woman who stole €3,000 from her friend’s mother after she retained her credit card details.
Denyse O’Brien, aged 31, with addresses in Rhebogue, Castletroy and Ennis, pleaded guilty, earlier this year, to two offences under the provisions of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.
However, in June the presiding judge – Marian O’Leary – recused herself from the case before imposing sentence after “certain documentation was submitted at Kilmallock District Court.
At a specially fixed sitting of Limerick District Court last Friday, Judge Aeneas McCarthy heard details of the offences.
Detective Garda Michael Reidy of Bruff garda station said O’Brien had become friendly with the injured party’s daughter and that on July 18, 2014 the woman gave O’Brien her credit card to organise a surprise birthday party for her daughter.
O’Brien subsequently returned the card but retained the card number and other details.
Over the following six weeks she carried out 51 separate transactions amounting to €3,000
Detective Garda Reidy some of the items she bought using the credit card details included a €300 deposit on a car and €650 downpayment on a holiday in Spain.
Being cross-examined by solicitor Sharon Davern, the detective agreed that most of the offences related to “minimal transactions” for items such as taxis and utility bills.
Det Garda Reidy agreed the defendant sent an email to the injured party admitting having made the transactions before gardai became involved.
The court was told O’Brien, who has one previous conviction for a road traffic offence, was arrested in November of last year and that she made admissions during interview.
In mitigation, Ms Davern said her client had cooperated fully with gardai and that she has repaid €1,500.
She said O’Brien has “every intention of paying the full amount” but that she has lost two jobs since details of the offences came to light.
She added that her client accepts she has “no one but herself to blame” but said her his life has “fallen apart” in recent months.
Judge McCarthy was told the defendant – who is a third-year student at UL – comes from a good background and that her family are “deeply upset and ashamed”.
Judge McCarthy adjourned the matter until November saying he will be “impressed” if the remainder of the money is paid.