Man jailed nine months for cheque deception and theft

A man charged with numerous counts of deception by tendering bounced cheques and theft with total value of more than €3,600 has been jailed for nine months.

Andre Zhuk (28 ) with an address at 34 An Leac Linn, Barna, was brought before Judge Eamon O’Brien at Galway District Court this week where he pleaded guilty to a number of charges.

These charges include deception by inducing staff at Safety Direct, Tuam Road, to accept a cheque for goods valued €55, a cheque for goods valued €97.79, and for goods valued €130.09, on October 6 and 8, 2008. There were also similar charges for June 6, 2009, where Zhuk induced staff at Topaz, Newcastle, to accept a cheque for €70.04. He tendered a cheque for €70 at Dolan Filling Station, Athlone Road, Ballinasloe, on June 26, 2009, a cheque for €61 at Texeco, Lough Atalia Road, on July 14, 2009, a cheque for €38.46 and one for €63.45 at Liddy’s Costcutters, Kinvara, on July 29 and August 3, 2009, respectively, and a cheque for €60 at ABC Bookshop, Tuam Road, on July 30, 2009.

Zhuk was also charged with stealing goods valued €700 from Welby’s Garage, Oughterard, on October 28, 2008, stealing property, a Revenue cheque in the name of another person and valued at €2,149, from a house in Sandyvale Lawns, Headford Road, on June 24, 2009, and making off without payment of €68 having obtained petrol and phone credit at Texaco, Lough Atalia Road, on July 16, 2009.

Inspector Sean Glynn told the court that no compensation has so far been paid by the defendant. Regarding the theft of the Revenue cheque on June 24, 2009, the inspector said that Zhuk had been living in the house at the time and that when the cheque arrived for a house mate he took it and lodged it himself. Inspector Glynn said that the injured party may be reimbursed by the bank. He added that all the injured parties had been “discommoded”.

Zhuk’s solicitor said that his client, who is from Belurus, came to Ireland in 2001 and had various jobs in the hotel industry and building trade. He said that Zhuk had been working but lost his job in August 2008. Zhuk had some savings but used all of it and ran out of money. The court heard that Zhuk wrote a number of cheques in his own name after an acquintance suggested it was a “great scheme”. The solicitor then said that there had been “no guile” or “concealing of his identity” and it was inevitable that he was going to get caught. The solicitor then asked Judge O’Brien to give Zhuk a chance as he has been promised a barman job and will endeavour to pay compensation.

However, after considering the evidence Judge O’Brien convicted the defendant and imposed a sentence of nine months.

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