Cleaner steals €4,410 from vulnerable man living in Cork sheltered accommodation

Cleaner steals €4,410 from vulnerable man living in Cork sheltered accommodation
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A VULNERABLE 61-year-old man living in sheltered accommodation in the Doughcloyne area of Cork trusted a man working as a cleaner in the complex who repeatedly used his bank card to steal a total of €4,410.

Detective Garda Bríd Norris, who investigated the case, brought multiple charges against the accused man, Zaldy Tan of Summerstown Road, Wilton.

Zaldy Tan pleaded guilty to sample counts against him today related to the multiple thefts from the injured party.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said the accused was working as a cleaner at the time and that he repeatedly used the 61-year-old’s bank card to make withdrawals for his own benefit.

It was later established that the total amount of withdrawals made by Tan amounted to €4,410.

The part-time cleaner was interviewed by Det. Garda Norris and he admitted carrying out the thefts over several months. There were 19 separate transactions in the period from August 2018 to February 2019.

Tan admitted that he had taken the card and used it with the PIN and then left the card back after each transaction.

By way of compensation the defendant brought €300 to Cork District Court today.

Judge Olann Kelleher wondered how the defendant came to have access to the PIN number. Frank Buttimer, defence solicitor, explained that he had done some errands for the injured party at an earlier stage.

The judge asked about the background to this series of offences.

Mr Buttimer said: “There is absolutely no justification for this but he can explain his reasoning.”

Judge Kelleher said: “I cannot see any reason for taking money from a vulnerable man.”

Mr Buttimer said: “There was a family illness back in the Philippines. His father had no access to medical intervention. This was a choice of method to assist his family. He has lost his marriage, he has lost his job over this. He is 52. He is now effectively single.”

Judge Kelleher said: “The one way he could avoid jail is if he pays back the money in full. I am going to adjourn it to September 22. If it is not paid in full by then he will be in jail.” The balance to be repaid stands at €4,110.

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