Belfast Telegraph

Swindler who took ill OAP for £8,350 avoids jail term

A fraudster who "exploited and manipulated" an elderly man with Alzheimer's disease walked free from court after his 18-month jail term was suspended for three years.

Judge Gemma Loughran told 45-year-old Edward McDonagh that his defrauding of £8,350 from his victim was "calculated, premeditated, planned and it was disgraceful behaviour".

"The elderly deserve to be protected," said the judge.

Describing Alzheimer's as "a cruel disease", Judge Loughran said its victims "above all deserve to be protected but you did the very opposite - you exploited and manipulated this man for your own purposes". McDonagh, from Innishmore Gardens in Coalisland, Co Tyrone, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to eight counts of fraud by false representation on various dates between April 18 and August 1, 2008.

Prosecuting lawyer Philip Henry told the court the frauds related to fraudulent cheques being cashed by McDonagh after he completed work on tarmacking a drive for the man.

The frauds were aggravated because of the victim's "extreme vulnerability and the repetitive offending", he added.

Belfast Telegraph

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