Man who stole over €11,000 from his grandfather is jailed for six months

Robert Byrne (30) carried out 35 transactions using his grandfather's account after taking the details of his credit card
Man who stole over €11,000 from his grandfather is jailed for six months

Brion Hoban

A man who stole over €11,000 from his grandfather while he was living with him has been jailed for six months.

Robert Byrne (30) carried out 35 transactions using his grandfather's account after taking the details of his credit card.

Byrne with an address at Peter McVerry Trust, St Stephen's Green, Dublin City centre, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to thefts at locations in Dublin on dates between June 4th, 2015 and January 4th, 2016.

He has 40 previous convictions, including convictions for robbery, theft and use of a false instrument.

Aideen Collard BL, prosecuting, told the court that Byrne's grandfather has been fully reimbursed by the bank, not by the accused man.

Transactions on account

Passing sentence today, Judge Pauline Codd said the thefts relate to a time when his grandfather was looking out for him and giving him a place to live.

Judge Codd said Byrne engaged in 35 transactions with his grandfather's account, including transactions for online gambling and one transaction for the purchase of children's toys.

She said that as AIB has reimbursed the victim, the bank is at a loss of €11,535.32. She said the accused has made no attempts to pay the money back.

Judge Codd said this was “a very mean and low down type offence” in which Byrne had taken his grandfather's credit card details.

She said a “deterrence message” has to go out that elderly people are not a target to be taken advantage of. She said the offence was “particularly reprehensible” as it was against the accused's own grandfather.

Drug rehabilitation

The judge said the accused does not appear to have come to any adverse garda attention since the offending. She said it is essential he engages with drug rehabilitation and that he has taken some steps “at this very late stage”.

Judge Codd sentenced Byrne to two-and-a-half years imprisonment, but suspended the final two years of the sentence on strict conditions including that he engage with the Probation Service in respect of his drug addiction.

Prior to sentencing, Keith Spencer BL, defending, said his client has been able to re-engage with his grandfather and that his grandfather does not want him to go to prison.

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