Monday 14 October 2019

Brother who admitted forging will is accused of being 'ruthlessly exploitive'

Charlie O'Leary who is the main prosecution witness.
Charlie O'Leary who is the main prosecution witness.
News 25/02/2013 Wexford court forged will case, photographed is Willie O'Leary who got 3 years with 18mth suspendended pending appeal and bail of Ä200,00.Picture: Mary Browne

A Wexford businessman who has admitted forging the will of a bachelor farmer has been accused of being 'ruthlessly exploitive' by lawyers for his brother who denies forging the same will.

Charles O'Leary is the main prosecution witness in the trial of his brother William O'Leary and former business partner Noel Hayes, who are accused of forging the will of Matthew Hayes.

Charles O'Leary denied to Michael O'Higgins SC, defence counsel for William O'Leary, that he was exploiting the sick child of friends.

It was the fourth day of the trial of William O'Leary (51) of Ramsgrange, Co Wexford, and Noel Hayes (61) a vegetable wholesaler from New Ross, Co. Wexford who have plead not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to forging the will on a date between December 1998 and January 1999.

Charles O'Leary has previously pleaded guilty to taking part in the alleged forgery. He was given an 18 month suspended sentence and ordered to pay €30,000 in an account pending for the next of kin.

Mr O'Leary said he received £12,500 for his role in the alleged forgery but that he gave the money to his sister and to a family he was friends with. He said he gave the money to the wife of the family to take care of a sick child and to the husband to pay off a loan for the boat he worked from.

Counsel for his brother said that Mr. O'Leary had not mentioned to the gardaí that he was the guarantor on the boat loan because he was attempting to 'buttress' his case that his conscience wouldn't let him take 'dirty money'. Mr O'Leary corrected counsel when he said he recently received €88,000 for the tonnage of the boat, saying it was actually €89,000.

Counsel said that Mr O'Leary was 'acting deviously and deceitfully, and continues to do so' by saying the money was given to needy people who had a 'baby being fed through tubes'.

Mr O'Leary said it was 'harrowing' that the accused's defence counsel would bring the child into the case and said counsel was trying to 'make dirt of that child and make dirt of me in the middle of it'.

Counsel then asked Mr O'Leary: 'Are you finished? I don't want to be accused of interrupting your flow.'

He then put it to Mr O'Leary that he had 'ruthlessly exploited that child to the jury' and had also done so in his sentence hearing. Mr O'Leary said he had never wanted to mention the child.

Counsel said that Mr O'Leary had 'inserted' his brother 'where it was not merited' into his statements about the alleged forgery.

Counsel read from statements given to gardai by Mr O'Leary's wife and a cousin of Noel Hayes, as well as a record of his attendance with his solicitor before he plead guilty to his role.

Counsel noted that William O'Leary was not mentioned as having been a party to the forgery in any of their statements of what Charles O'Leary had told them about the alleged forgery.

Counsel also read from a number of personal complaints made to gardaí by the brothers and legal disputes related to their 'bitter and distrustful' businesses relationship.

'You don't like William O'Leary, you've been battling him for years mostly unsuccessfully and when you came to deal with this to the guards, you inserted him into it,' counsel said. Mr. O'Leary said that was not true.

The trial continues before Judge Patricia Ryan.

Wexford People