A court has heard how a 47-years-old man conned Galway hotel, restaurant and coffee shop owners out of small sums of money by alleging that he had sustained an injury while on their premises.
His solicitor told a sitting of Loughrea District Court last week that her client was so well dressed and so well spoken that the trick worked every time.
The accused, Oliver Deeley, with an address at 8 Eden Park Loughrea, but now stated to be living with his brother in Kylebrack, pleaded guilty to 16 offences, most of them relating to inducing people to hand over amounts of cash ranging from €50 to €85, by means of deception.
He managed to succeed in getting money in hotels in Galway, as well as in bars and restaurants in the city on various dates in January and February this year.
At one restaurant in Salthill he got €50 compensation after alleging that he had found glass in his meal, and in other incidents he alleged he had sustained a dental injury.
Inspector Declan Rock told Judge Geoffrey Browne that the accused had also taken items without paying for them and had produced a false receipt from a dentist on another occasion. He agreed that the defendant was probably someone who needed help.
Defending solicitor, Ciara Macklin, said that her client had volunteered the names of the various business places he had gone into and tried this trick.
“He was so well dressed, spoken, and presented, that it worked every time,” she added.
She went on to explain how Mr Deeley was living in Salthill in January and had to be rescued from the building where he lived when a fire broke out after he dropped a cigarette. Within days of that incident we went on this “rampage”.
Her client was adamant that he was going to get residential treatment for alcohol addiction and a severe gambling problem, which had all gotten out of control.
She told the court how on February 19 the accused had jumped from a five storey building in Galway, resulting in him spending the night in hospital.
Two days later he took a car with the idea of going back into the taxi business, but failed to pay for it, and spent five nights in the vehicle in an isolated wood.
Ms Macklin said the defendant’s family were going to help her client who had been in custody since February and had not availed of the opportunity of taking up bail in order to deal with his problems.
He was the father of a 20-years-old son and had another child in Prague where he worked for a while, and with whom had no contact. She pointed out that there was no violence or aggression involved in any of the offences.
Judge Browne told the accused he was remanding him on bail to May 14 to see if the Probation Service could help. He also ordered that he attend a residential addiction course.