‘An appalling case of deception’

first_imgNewsLocal News‘An appalling case of deception’By admin – October 6, 2010 823 He added that the accused remained in contact with Ms Gribbins after he left his employment.According to Det Garda Ryan, Harrington “told her that he planned to set up a company called Shannon Medical and that he had been refused a bank loan”.Harrington was aware that the woman had received a settlement from the Residential Institutions Redress Board.Ms Gribbins offered to give him the money after hearing his “merry tale”.Harrington agreed to pay back the money in instalments, including 10 per cent interest.But it was after the final two payments of €5,000 and €1,200 made over the 18 month period to Harrington, that suspicions were raised as Ms Gribbins’ direct debit payments to the nursing home were not honoured.Harrington sent text messages to Ms Gribbins asking for the money following an alleged meeting with his accountant in order to secure 17 new contracts for the business. Promises that the full €60,000 would be returned as the company was in profit, were made.The court heard that there was no accountant and no contracts on offer to the company, and that it was effectively “null and void”.Ms Gribbins, desperate to get her money back, said that she felt this was her last chance and therefore agreed to the payments.The former care assistant took the payments from Ms Gribbins and said they were for customs and excise duty and had originally sought over €7,000, but due to the financial circumstances of the woman, she was only able to withdraw €1,200 on the final occasion at her Limerick bank.Harrington, it was said, used the money to fund his lifestyle.Ms Gribbins entered the home in 2006 after her husband died, and her only daughter also passed away. Her only granddaughter lives in the UK.  A very private lady, Ms Gribbins was said to have been left penniless and almost destitute by the actions of Harrington and only became aware of the seriousness of the matter when she was asked to leave the nursing home, but Det Garda Ryan added that, “thanks to the HSE, it never came to that”.Before Judge O’Donnell addressed the court, Ms Gribbins was assisted to the witness box after she asked permission to speak in court.“My confidence is gone, I trusted Michael after I met him in the home. He was very friendly and very helpful and he told me how he wanted to set up a business after he left working there”.She added that she got suspicious, and anytime she asked to talk to Harrington, he avoided talking about the business or investment.  “I was told my direct debit was not paid, and I didn’t know why”.Jenny Fitzgibbon, solicitor for the accused, said that he sincerely apologised and that he had entered an early plea of guilty.Earning €1,000 a month, it was offered to the court that Harrington had €2,000 as an initial payment, and wanted to enter into a payment plan to recompense Ms Gribbins.However, Judge O’Donnell said that the payment plan offered was “unrealistic” and in one of the most “appalling cases of deception” he had seen, he said he would be failing his duty if a custodial sentence was not imposed.Commending the bravery and courage of the 70-year-old lady, Judge O’Donnell added that Ms Gribbins’ confidence was “shattered” and she was “financially wiped out by the behaviour of the accused”.On the two counts of obtaining €5,000 and €1,200 through deception, judge O’Donnell sentenced Harrington to eight months in Limerick prison with both to run concurrently. Email Twitter Advertisement Facebook 70-year-old lady had her confidence shatteredA 25-year-old former nursing home care assistant has been sent to prison for eight months after pleading guilty to what Judge Tom O’Donnell noted as one of the most appalling cases of deception he had seen while at the bench. His comments came as he heard evidence of how Michael Harrington of 45 Cronan Lawn, Shannon,Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “effectively wiped” out the finances to the tune of almost €70,000 of 70-year-old Moyross woman, Teresa Gribbins who was resident at the Sancta Maria Nursing home.Detective Garda Stephen Ryan, Shannon, said that Harrington befriended the woman who was resident in the home after her husband died, and she moved from her former Moyross residence. Print WhatsApp Linkedin Previous articleMafi faced with seven week banNext articleFound guilty of thefts at fishmongers adminlast_img