A builder who first quoted €1,150 for a roofing repair went on to charge €7,600 and now he has been given a two-year suspended jail term.
Judge Helen Boyle said that in fairness to the accused man Patrick O’Sullivan, 30, with an address at 148 Ballyspillane, Killarney, Co Kerry, he had shown remorse in the most meaningful way by paying back the full amount and a further sum on Top.
Garda Linda Myers gave evidence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court of the offense committed by Patrick O’Sullivan of inducing a person to part with money by deception.
In this case, the householder required some building work done on the roof of his home and he got in contact with Patrick O’Sullivan through an advertisement on Facebook.
It was first agreed the work would cost €1,150 and this was paid to the defendant.
He was later told that a further €950 would have to be paid.
In this way, additional payments were made until the total cash paid over amounted to €7,600.
The household called to Killarney Garda Station and made a complaint, which resulted in the investigation of the case.
The accused repaid a total of €8,500, which was even more than the total he had been paid, Donal O’Sullivan, defense barrister, said.
He added that the 30-year-old builder took the matter very seriously and had no previous convictions.
Judge Boyle asked by way of clarification: “Did he do any work?”
Prosecution barrister Donal McCarthy replied: “He did not do most of it.”
Mr O’Sullivan said: “He did some work but not to the value for which he was paid.”
Mr O’Sullivan said the defendant had written a letter of apology and was very remorseful for his actions.
Judge Boyle noted there were some medical issues that she was obliged to take into consideration in respect of the accused. She also said the most important mitigating factor was the payment of more than the full amount of the money involved.
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