Trial date set for garda accused of ATM scam

Brendan Phillips
Brendan Phillips

A Dublin-based Garda will go on trial in June accused of taking part in an alleged ATM scam.

Garda Brendan Phillips, 34, from Sligo but who has an address at Charnwood Green, Clonsilla, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin District Court to three deception charges and two counts of attempted deception in connection with ATM withdrawals in March and April 2013.

Today Judge Bryan Smyth told the accused's lawyer the two-day hearing will begin on June 23 next. Mr Phillips was present but did not address the proceedings.

The court has already heard it was alleged the former Sligo inter-county Gaelic footballer took €450 during the incidents.

He was due to face a hearing in January, however, it was then adjourned because the garda's lawyers needed time to consider new evidence.

The court heard 26 prosecution witness will be called and CCTV evidence will also be used during the non-jury trial.

At an earlier stage in the proceedings, an outline of the allegations was given for the court to decide on the issue of jurisdiction. It was then ruled the case would be dealt with at district court level and not in the circuit court, which on conviction has tougher sentencing powers.

The DPP had also directed that the case should proceed in the district court.

Det Superintendent John Keane had said it was alleged that during the incidents in Dublin the defendant used his bank card to withdraw €170. He said the requested amount was dispensed in full and compromised three €50 notes and a €20 note.

Det Supt Keane had said it was alleged the notes were “manipulated” and €150 was taken out while the remaining €20 was left in the machine's dispensing tray.

“The machine is programmed to automatically retract that money into the retracting tray,” he had said.

“At that time the machine was unable to identify how much money was taken back into the machine. It is flagged as an extraordinary transaction and the full value is refunded to the account,” Det Supt Keane had said.

A co-defendant, also a garda, was convicted and fined by the court in December for his role in thefts from ATMs.