Serial conman who ripped off pensioners for ‘odd jobs’ jailed for new offence

Judge Connolly said it was a nasty crime and that the sheer recidivism of Martin Sweeney was an aggravating factor.

Martin Joseph Sweeney

Paul Deering
Sligo Champion

An odd job man who took money from elderly householders for jobs he didn’t complete has been give a further year in prison – added to the two year term he is already serving.

This time, Martin Sweeney (42) has been jailed for a offence committed in Boyle – ten months after receiving a two-year term for offences committed in Sligo.

Sweeney of Cloonacool, Tubbercurry was paid €1,650 to paint and carry out power-washing of a man’s house in Boyle but the work was never carried out.

Sweeney, who had told the householder his name was ‘Martin Feeney’, admitted a charge of deception at Roscommon Circuit Court and was jailed for a year by Judge Kenneth Connolly who noted the offence, which was carried out in 2021 had been committed while out on bail.

Judge Connolly said it was a nasty crime and that the sheer recidivism of Sweeney was an aggravating factor.

Sweeney was found guilty by a jury at Sligo Circuit Court in October 2022 of stealing cash from pensioners to carry out odd jobs which he failed to do between June 25, 2019 and January 20, 2020.

The court heard the amounts ranged from €250 to €1,000 and Sweeney had called to the elderly people’s homes under the pretence of carrying out work such as painting and power-washing.

Judge Keenan Johnson, in sentencing Sweeney last January said he had preyed on vulnerable, elderly people, some of whom were aged in their eighties and living alone.

The court also heard Sweeney booked into a B&B in Charlestown under the name of Martin Tansey for four nights.

He stayed one night and had food and drink and left without paying was the bill of €113.15.

Judge Johnson said the aggravating factors were the persistency in the offending against elderly people living on their own which has an effect on them.

Sweeney made no effort to make recompense.

Judge Johnson said Sweeney committed the Sligo offences while on bail. He had a very cavalier attitude towards the judicial process.

He said all of the elderly people involved were out of substantial amounts of money. He said Sweeney took advantage of them and had no intention to carry out the work.

Sweeney was convicted by the jury on five counts in Sligo and a similar offence in Roscommon.

The latest one year jail term imposed last week at Roscommon Circuit Court will start at the conclusion of the two year sentence which was imposed last January in Sligo.

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