Elderly Limerick man found crying in his car in Laois

Son accused of falsely imprisoning father after Laois gardaí responded to 999 call

An elderly Limerick man who was allegedly held against his will by his son was located after a member of the public noticed him crying in a car more than 120km from his home.

Limerick District Court has heard Jim O’Connor (80) was wearing slippers when located by gardaí in Co Laois who responded to the 999 call on June 2, last.

Food and blankets were also found in the car which was seized by gardai.

The pensioner, who is from the city, had been reported missing a number of days earlier by a relative who lives in Boston.

James O’Connor, aged 40, who has an address at Lord Edward Street, Limerick appeared in court this week charged with falsely imprisoning his father.

Opposing bail, Detective Garda Brian Culbert said said it will also be alleged the pensioner, who is now in “safe and secure” accommodation, was forced to withdraw €7,000 from his credit union account on three separate dates in May and that his son also withdrew his pension from a post office without permission.

Gardai believe the alleged injured party was then forced to travel with his son to the midlands and that they stayed at a flat in Mountmellick for up to 12 days.

Solicitor Darach McCarthy said his client is entitled to the presumption of innocence and he rejected suggestions he will not stand trial if released.

He said he was concerned with some of the detective’s evidence – describing it as a narrative which was not relevant.

The detective accepted the defendant has a “fractious” relationship with other members of his family.

Granting bail subject to the lodgment of substantial independent surety, Judge Larkin imposed a number of restrictions on the defendant.

One of the conditions is that Mr O’Connor not have any contact with his father or with any potential witnesses in the case.

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