Drug debt deception across Laois
A man who obtained by deception goods and cash from businesses and private residents in Portlaoise and Tullamore has paid €3,000 compensation to a woman who was left out of pocket after he took her money to make her bathroom wheelchair accessible and then never did the work.
Before Portlaoise Circuit Court was Patrick McLaughlin, with a previous address in Kilkenny but now residing in Whitegate, Co. Cork, charged with 13 counts of making gain by deception.
When he first came before the court in March, Detective JP O’Brien gave evidence, along with State barrister, Mr Will Fennelly, that on September 8, 2016, the accused cashed a cheque for €400 from an account that had previously closed, at Costcutter, Mountrath.
On September 13, 2016, he cashed a cheque for €400 from a closed bank account, at Phelans Shop, Castletown.
On November 21, 2016, he paid a cheque for goods worth €93, at JL Bradshaw & Co. Ltd, Stradbally Road, Portlaoise.
On December 1, 2016, he cashed a cheque for €350 at Peigs Bar, Portlaoise.
On January 27, 2017, he cashed a cheque for €250 at Browns Shop, Dublin Road, Portlaoise.
On May 17, 2017, he paid a cheque for goods worth €220 at Condell and Ryan Ltd, Portlaoise.
On May 29, 2017, he paid a cheque for goods worth €490 at a shop on the Timahoe Road, Portlaoise.
On May 31, 2017, he paid a cheque for goods worth €350, at Millers Hardware Store, Portlaoise. On the same date he paid a cheque for goods worth €819 at DID Electrical, Tullamore.
On June 2, 2017, he stole goods worth €3,336 from a store on the Timahoe Road, Portlaoise, by saying he would return the following day to pay.
On July 7, 2017, he paid a cheque for goods worth €490 at D&S Hardware, Tullamore.
On a date between August 11 and August 14, 2017, he took €1,010 from a party in Laois for goods of services that he did not deliver.
Det O’Brien said that the accused advertised himself for tiling work and priced the job. On August 12, 2017, he asked for €840 cash for materials and then on August 14, 2017 he told the injured party he could purchase a toilet for €150.
He received the money, but never returned to do the work.
Det O’Brien gave further evidence that on August 25/26, 2017, the accused priced work for a Ms Karen Chadwick and received €1,150 for materials. She never heard from him again.
Mr Fennelly told the court that Ms Chadwick has difficulty with hearing loss and physical problems, and her daughter has a genetic disorder, so their bathroom was badly in need of upgrading.
Defence, Ms Geraldine Fitzpatrick said her client had started using drink and drugs following the breakdown of a relationship and he ran up a drug debt.
The accused himself told the court he had been threatened over a drug debt and had tried to commit suicide.
Judge Keenan Johnson directed the accused to pay Ms Chadwick €3,000 before the next sitting of the circuit court in June.
When the case returned to court last week, Ms Fitzpatrick said her client had the €3,000 as directed.
She said this left a balance of around €9,000, to be paid to all the injured parties.
Judge Keenan Johnson directed that the €3,000 in court go to Ms Chadwick.
Judge Johnson adjourned the case to December 3 for the accused to pay a further €3,000.
An up to date probation report was also requested on the accused.