independent

Monday 14 October 2019

Man who forged will denies he was 'demented with jealousy' afterwards

Charlie O'Leary who is the main prosecution witness.
Charlie O'Leary who is the main prosecution witness.
News 17/01/2012 Wexford Court today, Forged will case. Photographed is Noel Hayes. Picture; Mary Browne
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 says he did not threaten to 'bury' his brother and a friend, who deny forging the same will, after his relationship with them deteriorated.

William O'Leary (51) of Ramsgrange, Co Wexford and Noel Hayes (61), a vegetable wholesaler, from New Ross, Wexford have pleaded not guilty to forging the will of Matthew Hayes on a date between December 1998 and January 1999.

The main prosecution witness, Charles O'Leary had previously pleaded guilty to taking part in the alleged forgery. He was sentenced to 18 months suspended and to pay €30,000 in an account pending for the next of kin of Matthew Hayes.

On the second day of the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Charles O'Leary told Noel Hayes' counsel Aidan Doyle SC that he was not 'demented with jealousy' over missing out on a land deal worth €6 million.

Under cross examination, Charles O'Leary said he 'wasn't vexed' when he heard about the deal which would have initially cost him and four others, including the two accused, €10,000 each.

Mr O'Leary said he had been given an option in the project on numerous occasions by his brother, Mr Hayes and Mr Hayes' wife but he was too busy at the time.

Counsel asked Mr O'Leary if he remembered saying to Mr Hayes 'give me a cut' and calling him a 'greedy bastard'. Mr O'Leary said he never said that.

Counsel said that in 2006, Mr O'Leary began legal action against South East Vegetables, a company he and Noel Hayes held directorships in, after he was asked to step down.

Mr O'Leary denied telling people he was 'shafted' in the deal.

In 2004, Mr O'Leary was given around €3 million to walk away from his involvement with O'Leary International Haulage which he had run with his brother William after a legal dispute.

Counsel asked him if he remembered a phone call with Noel Hayes soon after where he said: 'I have one mission in life and that's to bring that fucker down.' Mr O'Leary denied saying that.

Mr O'Leary said that he was seeing a psychiatrist at the time he went to gardai in 2007 about the will, as he was suffering from depression.

The defence counsel said that the impression Mr O'Leary had given the court was that 2006 was the first time he attended a psychiatrist but he had letters saying he had been going since 1994.

Mr O'Leary said that was true, he had started going when his first marriage was breaking up. At the time he was getting separated from his current wife's sister.

Mr O'Leary agreed with Mr Doyle that he was 'all over the place' at that time.

Counsel asked him if he recalled meeting Michael Murphy at a disused petrol station in 2008 and saying 'I'm going to bring those two down' in relation to the defendants.

Mr O'Leary denied that but said that Mr Murphy had called his house and said, 'Are you not worried about the bullet in the back of the head?' He said Mr Murphy worked for Mr Hayes.

The defence counsel put it to the witness that he spoke to Mr Murphy during a break and that he was the one who mentioned bullets. Mr O'Leary denied this.

Counsel said Mr Hayes told him the will was signed in August 1998 before Matthew Hayes' death.

Mr O'Leary said that the will was not signed until around a week after Matthew Hayes' death on Christmas day 1998.

The trial continues under Judge Patricia Ryan and a jury.

Wexford People

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