On-the-run con woman who fled her UK trial granted bail by High Court

ireland
On-The-Run Con Woman Who Fled Her Uk Trial Granted Bail By High Court
Farah Damji (54) has six convictions for 28 offences, which include multiple theft and fraud offences dating back to 1995
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Paul Neilan

Notorious con woman Farah Damji, who is the daughter of a wealthy property tycoon and who is wanted in the UK for fleeing a trial, has been granted bail by the High Court this evening.

Farah Damji (54) fled to Ireland in February of last year during her trial in the UK, where she was convicted in her absence by Southwark Crown Court, London, of twice breaching a restraining order in April and June 2018.

In September of last year she was denied bail while she awaits extradition proceedings brought against her by the UK and was deemed at high-risk of absconding.

Ms Damji, who presented herself as an Icelandic national and was living in Dublin, is the daughter of a deceased South African-born property tycoon and has a criminal record for fraud and theft stretching back to the 1990s.

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Ms Damji had submitted that she had been working as an artist in Ireland. In September, of last year she was denied bail while she awaits extradition proceedings brought against her by the UK and was deemed high-risk of absconding.

Today, Mr Justice Paul Burns said that the sentence Ms Damji was facing in the UK was nine months' imprisonment and that he was going to apply "proportionality" because Ms Damji has already been in custody in Ireland for eight months while fighting her extradition on medical grounds.

Mr Justice Burns said that some of the time Ms Damji had been in custody was partly caused by the changing of her legal teams during that time.

Ms Damji is now represented by barrister Ms Joanne Williams BL, who made the application for bail.

Ms Damji is to reside at an agreed-upon address, which was not read out to the court, and sign on daily at a Garda station, which was also not named.

She is also to provide a bond of €1,200 with €1,000 of that to be lodged. She is also to provide a mobile phone number to gardaí, agree not to apply for any travel documents and to keep the peace.

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Ms Damji was convicted for breaching UK restraining orders and absconded the court after three days of her trial. The court issued a bench warrant and she was arrested in Dublin in August of last year on foot of a European Arrest Warrant.

Another sitting heard that Ms Damji's father was a multi-millionaire who passed away over 10 years ago and that Ms Damji claimed to gardaí that his fortune had been put into a trust for his grandchildren and that she did not inherit his wealth.

She has six convictions for 28 offences, which include multiple theft and fraud offences dating back to 1995 and is currently under investigation for alleged offences under the Theft and Fraud Act.

Det Gda Eoin Kane had refused to accept that Ms Damji was of limited means and said that she was in possession of a Rolex and Breitling watch in her apartment when arrested.

At that hearing, Ms Emily Farrell SC, for the State, said that Ms Damji had been convicted for breaching a restraining order in the UK, granted to two males, by naming, stalking and harassing them and was also facing a breach of licence sentence for absconding from her trial.

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Ms Farrell said that in Ms Damji's UK trial the court outlined her calling one victim 10 times a day, along with leaving voicemails and contacting his wife's cousins in order to get his wife's phone number regarding "concerns about her children".

The restraining order also precluded her from naming, by any means, a male who was a victim of her harassment.

Counsel said it was alleged in her UK trial that Ms Damji had tweeted a link to a crowd-funding internet page where she had posted the male's 2016 victim impact statement.

Ms Damji is to lodge the €1,000 and supply gardaí with a phone number by Tuesday of next week, with a separate application from her legal team to be made in May.

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