Suspended sentence for woman who cheated people of holiday cash

Published 26/05/2015 | 00:00

Judge's gavel.
Judge's gavel.

A ROSSLARE woman who deceived a number of people - mainly in the Youghal area of County Cork - of money in respect of holiday arrangements, has been given an 18-month suspended prison sentence.

Mary Roberts, of Barr na Haille, Rosslare Harbour, had previously pleaded guilty before Judge Barry Hickson at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court to eight counts of inducing, by deception, Camille Glanagan, Colin Savage, Stephen Murphy, Gillian Landers, Eileen Corigliano, and Ina Walsh, to pay over cash for bogus holiday reservations between May 24, 2012, and July 19, 2013,

Defence Counsel, Sinead Gleeson, told Wexford Circuit Court last week that the defendant had €7,288 in court, money, she said, that came from a brother. While this would leave a deficit of some €400, it was the only money available to the court on the day.

Ms Gleeson said that John Treacy, who at the time was in a relationship with the defendant, had paid over €7,000 for which he is at a loss. He is pursuing a civil action to recover his money.

Garda Sgt. Ray Heffernan had told the court that the victims were from Counties Waterford and Cork. He said gardai in Youghal received a number of complaints regarding the activities of the accused. Money for holidays and trips was paid over to Mary Roberts but no holidays were booked and no money refunded.

He also told the court that a total of €15,100 was paid to the defendant in full, while a total of €7,320 had since been paid back to injured parties. This money was paid back by John Treacy who was in a relationship with Roberts at the time and would also have promoted the business by telling people that the defendant was in a position to arrange cheap holidays and trips. He raised a credit union loan to pay back the money but this was not refunded by Ms Roberts and the relationship ended.

The defendant, he said, currently lived in Rosslare Harbour with her two children. She has seven previous convictions including deception for personal gain.

Ms Gleeson also told the court the defendant is under the care of a psychiatrist at the moment receiving ongoing treatment. People did actually go on cheap holidays arranged by her client and her reputation for cheap holidays grew by word of mouth. Bookings came in, money came in, but no holidays were arranged, she added.

Ms. Gleeson said €7,320 had been paid back by Mr. Treacy which left a balance of some €7,774. She also said that it's understood that civil proceedings are being brought by Mr. Treacy against the defendant for the sum he paid her.

The defendant, she said, is on €180 per week welfare and is not in a position to pay the money back. She is a 47-year-old woman who has previous convictions for similar activities. She lost her partner, the father of her two children in 2012, and the activity before the court happened in 2012 into 2013.

The defendant, she said, is remorseful. She did take money for holidays which were not arranged and one could not say why. Her behaviour is quite puzzling, said Ms Gleeson.

Judge Hickson said there were letters in court from some of the injured parties outlining the hardship this had brought them through, along with the distress suffered as a result. The defendant is the person who inflicted this upset on these people, he said.

The Judge said he would impose an eighteen-month prison sentence on each of the final four counts to run concurrently, but would suspend the sentences for eighteen months on the defendant entering into a bond to keep the peace for that period. He said he would mark the remaining four charges taken into consideration.

Wexford People

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