independent

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Former garda convicted of fraud

UNANIMOUS VERDICT IS RETURNED

A FORMER GARDA is to be sentenced in June after being found guilty at Wexford Circuit Court last week of fraud offences.

John Joe Synnott, of Camblin, New Ross, was found guilty by the jury of six men and six women after a little over two hours of deliberation. Fifty-fouryear-old Synnott, who was based in Wexford town Garda Station at the time of the offences, had pleaded not guilty to charges arising out of an alleged road traffic accident at Newtown Road, on the outskirts of Wexford town, on September 9, 2007.

He pleaded not guilty of inducing Axa Insurance to pay compensation in respect of the alleged crash; of providing false information for the advantage of himself or others; and of deceiving his principal, An Garda Síochána, in reporting a traffic accident, knowing the report to be false.

He had previously stood trial more than a year ago, but the case collapsed on a legal point after nine days of evidence, just as the prosecution was about to close the case.

During the course of the evidence in the retrial, the defence accepted that John Joe Synnott did not attend the scene of the alleged accident; and that John Joe Synnott knew Joe Redmond, the partner of one of the women said to be involved in the 'crash', since Redmond was a child.

Garda Declan Dennehy told the court of being in the patrol car with Garda Synnott and having no recollection of being apart from Garda Synnott during the tour of duty on the day of the alleged crash. He said they did not get a call to a traffic accident at Newtown Road.

Evidence during the trial of Garda Synnott also concerned the reporting the alleged accident involving two cars to the Garda Pulse system headquarters in Castlebar and having filled out the various report forms in Wexford Garda Station. It was also given in evidence that a cheque for €9,910 been paid out by Axa Insurance to Beverley and Joseph Redmond in respect of her Audi car said to have been involved in the accident, and a cheque for €13,442 been paid to Lorraine Quinlan, the owner of the second vehicle.

The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on all three counts. Judge Alice Doyle adjourned sentencing to June 22 next.

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