Teacher charged with bounced cheque deception

A part-time teacher has pleaded guilty to paying for goods with bounced cheques on three different occasions.

At Galway District Court this week Judge Mary Fahy adjourned the case further for proof of employment adding that 44-year-old Greg Atkins’ version of the truth cannot always be trusted.

Atkins who now resides in Sligo but is formerly of Stradbally East, Clarinbridge, appeared at Monday’s court sitting where he pleaded guilty to three counts of making gain or causing loss by deception at Walsh’s Pharmacy, Oranmore, on October 7, 2010, at WIP, Ballybrit, on October 20, 2010, and at Trade and Discount Centre, Headford Road, on November 5, 2010. Two counts of theft were withdrawn.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that at Walsh’s Pharmacy photos were developed to the value of €148 and were paid for with a cheque but that there had been no money in Atkin’s bank account. The inspector added that Atkins knew there had been no funds available. Atkins then went to WIP some days later where he hired a trailer and paid for this by cheque which also bounced. At the Trade and Discount Centre Atkins wrote a cheque for €1,155 for furniture for a house in Athenry but there were again no funds to cover it and the furniture was recovered following a Garda investigation.

Defence solicitor Oliver Foley said that much of the property was recovered, that there is a total loss of €248, and that Atkins has brought compensation into court. Mr Foley then explained that money was supposed to have been transferred into Atkins’ account, however, “AIB decided to cancel his account” and notification had been sent to a previous address. He said that Atkins only found out his account had been closed when he went in person to AIB.

“It was up to him to tell the bank he was moving,” said Judge Fahy. Mr Foley then explained that Atkins’ life at the time had been in a “state of flux” and he had moved address several times. Mr Foley added that Atkins, who has no previous convictions, now lives with his mother and “things are begining to look up for him”.

Inspector Coppinger then said that he would have “grave reservations for anything he [Atkins] says”. Judge Fahy also held these concerns, stating that she would find it hard to accept that Atkins is in gainful employment and would need proof.

“He is the type of person who may think he is telling the truth,” said Judge Fahy, before adjourning the matter to November 12 next for proof of employment.

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