A Kildare man who carried out credit card fraud “almost nationwide” will now have to serve an extra six months in jail on top of an already lengthy sentence for a similar scam at a Galway city hotel.
Shane Pouch (28 ) with an address at Stephenstown Lodge, Two Mile House, Naas, Kildare, was brought in custody before Galway District Court last Monday where he pleaded guilty to dishonestly, with the intention of making gain or causing a loss to another by deception, obtaining services such as food, beverages, and accommodation, at Park House Hotel, Forster Street, Galway between June 28 and 30, 2008. He also pleaded guilty to dishonestly making off without making payment of €542.50 for services.
Garda Noel Sweeney said that the defendant had a bill outstanding of €542.50 and gave the incorrect credit card details to the hotel. The court heard that the card details belonged to a German national, that the card had not been reported stolen, and that Garda Sweeney was not aware how Pouch acquired the details.
Defence solicitor Valerie Corcoran explained that her client was currently serving a three and a half year sentence for similar offences. She said that Pouch comes from a very good family and is a qualified chef; however at the time he went through severe depression and had “a total breakdown”. Ms Corcoran said that Pouch is currently seeing a pshychiatrist while in prison.
“He is not dealing with his issues if he is not telling gardai how he got the card details,” said Judge Mary Fahy.
Inspector Michael Coppinger then explained that Garda Sweeney had “certain suspicions” but could not go into it in court.
Ms Corcoran said that Pouch admitted his guilt immediately, and that he had only been questioned about the matter last December.
Inspector Coppinger then said that Pouch has 44 previous convictions for similar offences in areas such as Kilkenny, Longford, Carlow, and Roscommon. “Basically it’s almost nationwide” he added.
“He has made a career out of it,” noted Judge Fahy, who imposed a six months sentence to be served on lawful termination of the sentence currently being served. Leave to appeal was granted.