'Liveline' conman's appeal bid fails
A serial conman who once telephoned the RTE 'Liveline' show to talk about his crimes has failed in an appeal against his four-year sentence for theft and other offences.
In October 2011, Francis Shanley (aged 37) with addresses at Shannon Gate, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, and Church View, Boyle, Co Roscommon, was sentenced to seven years with three suspended by Judge Yvonne Murphy at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
He had pleaded guilty to theft and three charges of inducing another to pay a deposit for camera equipment by purporting to be an authorised seller between January 25 and May 1, 2006.
He also pleaded guilty to inducing another woman to give possession of her car at James Place East on December 17, 2007.
The Court of Criminal Appeal today said it would dismiss Shanley’s appeal, having being unable to detect any error in principle in the sentences imposed by Judge Murphy.
Counsel for Shanley, Mr Michael Bowman BL, submitted that Judge Murphy should have suspended part of the sentence imposed in relation to the theft of the camera equipment in recognition of Shanley’s plea of guilty and the fact that he had voluntarily made a statement to gardai.
He said that Shanley, who has 63 previous convictions, had psychiatric difficulties and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, a personality disorder and was bi-polar.
Mr Paul Carroll BL, for the State, submitted that, in the round, Judge Murphy had left “light at the end of the tunnel” by suspending a large part of the term imposed on the second charge, and had taken the “proportionality” approach to the case as a whole which was the norm.
The court heard that that in January 2007 Shanley falsely represented himself as working in television and obtained very valuable camera equipment from a rental company before selling it on for €6,000.
With regard to the second charge, Shanley obtained by deception the details of car owners and telephoned them to say there was a problem with the brakes on their cars which would require the resetting of the on-board computer.
He told a woman that he would go to her work place and collect her Mercedes car, but the woman had been alerted by staff at Ballsbridge Motors and gardai arrested Shanley as he waited for the woman to meet him.
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