Two brothers have been sentenced to two years in jail each for forcing an elderly and vulnerable woman to pay an “extortionate price” for chainsaws, power washes and generators she had no use for and did not want.
An Garda Síochana report that “the men called to an elderly lady’s home in West Cork, uninvited, and made her feel pressured into paying an extortionate price for 12 chainsaws, 11 generators, 7 power washer and assorted tools which she had no use for and did not want.”
At the Circuit Criminal Court in Cork, Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin heard Thomas O’Driscoll, 39, of Boherbue, Rathkeale, and his brother 38-year old Patrick O’Driscoll of Wolfburgess East, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, plead guilty to theft and deception charges involving €6,500.
The judge described the men’s actions as a “total invasion of privacy” and said the offences were “phenomenally serious”.
The Gardai appealed for communities to watch out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours who might be prey to bogus traders.
“If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours and see or hear about bogus traders doing the rounds, let them and ourselves know so we can put out additional patrols. If you suspect that anyone who calls to your door selling goods or services is not who they say they are, tell them you are not interested and call the Gardaí immediately. Genuine trades people won’t be offended by any queries the Gardaí may make,” they said.
They also advised safety precautions: “If you are answering the door to ‘cold callers’, apply the chain or door limiter before opening the door. I would also ask that If anyone feels like they, or someone they know has been a victim of being sold goods for extortionate prices, or paid for a service that was not carried out, to call any Garda station and report the matter,” they posted.