Documents, letters and cards dating over a five-year period were discovered at the home of a courier who was arrested today and charged with multiple thefts arising out of the investigation.
Garda Paul Lynch arrested Leonard O’Mahony of Amberley Avenue, Grange, Cork, and brought him before Cork District Court.
The 56-year-old was charged with four counts of handling stolen property and 52 counts of theft spanning a period from 2014 to 2019.
Sergeant John Kelleher said the Director of Public Prosecutions had given directions in the case to the effect that the case could be dealt with at Cork District Court on a plea of guilty only. Once the background was outlined and Judge Olann Kelleher also accepted jurisdiction for the case, Leonard O’Mahony then pleaded guilty to all 56 charges.
Leonard O’Mahony worked as a courier for 14 years and as part of his work he took post to and from solicitors’ offices.
A complaint was made by the office manager in one of these offices when a one-for-all voucher valued at €100 went missing. On investigation it turned out that the voucher had been spent at Supervalu in Grange. Similarly, there was a complaint in relation to a second voucher for €30 and this had also been spent at the same store.
This led gardaí to suspect Leonard O’Mahony and call to his home to conduct a search.
“A large quantity of DX mail - opened and unopened - from December 2014 was found. He admitted he had taken cards, letters and documents from his place of work,” Sgt. Kelleher said.
The value of missing vouchers was put at €220. Judge Kelleher said he was much more concerned about letters and documents going missing. On the basis of evidence that the accused was operating as a courier between solicitors’ offices, the judge asked if any title documents had gone missing.
Sergeant Mary Skehan said there was no evidence of that. She added that the gardaí did not open any letters which had not been opened already by the accused.
Defence solicitor, Eddie Burke, said, “He attended at Togher garda station on a voluntary basis. He was not arrested or anything at the time. He outlined everything to the best of his memory.
“Originally from Turner’s Cross, he has worked all his life. From 1986 to 2006 he worked as a publican in various establishments. He went working for DX Couriers from 2006.”
Mr Burke said that initially there were logistical reasons for the defendant bringing post to his home but “he ended up going through the post at home.”
“A knock came on the door and all these letters were inside in his house. He hadn’t even disposed of them. He did not even have the wherewithal to burn them or dispose of them,” the solicitor said.
Judge Kelleher said that in light of the defendant’s age and the absence of criminal convictions he would direct the preparation of a probation report. Sentencing was adjourned until January 29 2021 to allow time for that. Leonard O’Mahony was remanded on bail to appear again at Cork District Court on that date.