A gambler who carried out acts of financial deception at a credit union showed an attitude of doing what he liked by holding a social gathering at his home in breach of Covid restrictions last February.
That was how Judge Marie Keane viewed the offending by Ian O’Sullivan of 54 Cherry Lawn, Church Road, Blackrock, Cork, as she sentenced him to a total of twelve months in prison.
Judge Keane said of the 40-year-old at Cork District Court, “The breach of regulations is just an indication of this man’s attitude – He can do what he likes.
“He is holding a gathering when everyone else is abiding by the law. This absolutely shocking stuff.”
As for the financial deception charges related to St. Michael’s Credit Union, Sergeant Pat Lyons said they were carried out on seven dates in November 2019 when he was effectively involved in money-laundering.
He rang the credit union and lodged money from an account into his own account and then went there each day after the phone call to withdraw the lodgement in cash.
The fraud was discovered by an officer at the credit union after a loss of €1,985 was caused by Ian O’Sullivan and none of it has been repaid.
Judge Keane said, “The credit union is a voluntary association. People depend on it for various reasons and it provides a valuable service to the community – and becoming ever more valuable with banking institutions closing up. They are left with €1,985 loss.”
As well as pleading guilty to these offences, Ian O’Sullivan also admitted presenting himself as a builder in August 2021 and agreeing with a householder to build a shed. He was paid €2,160 in advance for materials and he spent all of the money on gambling and drink and failed to do any work. He also failed to repay any of this money.
Joseph Cuddigan, defence solicitor, said this man had left something of a legacy in Cork Prison by setting up the first branch of Gamblers Anonymous there to help other prisoners with similar difficulties.
“He is deeply remorseful and ashamed that he is back here again. There no prospect of money being repaid. I would ask you to err on the side of leniency,” Mr Cuddigan said.
Judge Keane questioned the defendant’s role in assisting other people with a gambling addiction, stating that this required empathy and that he had shown a lack of empathy in his offending behaviour.