A man has paid back the majority of the money he took from a gullible woman he met through online dating.
Alan Custy (41), of Dún na hInse, Ennis stole almost €19,000 by deception from the woman he met through the dating website smooch.com over a five month period in 2013.
The 47-year-old Limerick woman was the second person targeted by Mr Custy, who previously received a three year suspended jail term in February 2012 for blackmailing a married woman he met on connectedsingles.com.
Custy has been given time by Judge Gerald Keys to pay compensation to the Limerick woman and his barrister Patrick Whyms BL told Ennis Circuit Court that his client had paid back “a significant sum”.
Mr Whyms said Custy had paid back €16,400 of the €18,700 he took.
“We are nearly there,” the barrister said.
Det Garda Claire O’Shaughnessy previously told the court that the victim in the case lives alone and was trusting, gullible, had health problems and suffered from self-esteem issues when she went looking for romance in June 2013.
At the sentencing hearing, Det O’Shaughnessy said the victim became suspicious of Custy and contacted gardaí in November 2013 after coming across an account of his blackmailing case online.
By that stage the woman had given some €18,900 to Custy who said that he needed money to pay off the Revenue, to purchase machinery and diesel, and to pay of staff who were carrying out fictitious work with Clare and Limerick county councils.
In her victim impact statement, the woman said Custy’s “abuse of my good nature completely shattered my confidence in men and people in general.
“I don’t trust my instincts anymore and I have lost confidence in myself.”
Judge Keys further adjourned the case to March to allow Custy to complete paying the compensation.