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Heartless Conman persuaded husband to pay €1,120 for cannabis to help dying wife then fled with money

Paul Dingivan's wife Julie was a victim of the Cervical Smear scandal

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Julie Dingivan

Julie Dingivan

Julie Dingivan

A heartless con man persuaded a distraught husband to hand over €1,120 for Cannabis hemp in a desperate last ditch bid to keep his wife, who was a victim of the Cervical Smear scandal, alive, and then done a runner with the money.

Fermoy District Court heard recently that 38-year-old John Griffin preyed on Paul Dingivan just a month before his 36-year-old wife Julie died in April 2017.

Griffin pleaded guilty to the charge that he dishonestly by deception induced Paul Dingivan to hand over €1,120, believing that he would supply hemp oil to him with the intention of making gain for himself at MacCurtain Street, Fermoy on March 1, 2017.

He was sentenced to nine months in jail.

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Paul Dingivan

Paul Dingivan

Paul Dingivan

Julie Dingivan of Fermoy was one of the women impacted by the Cervical Check controversy.

She was diagnosed in 2013. In 2018 the HSE indicated to her husband Paul that a clear smear test his wife received in 2009 was found to be inaccurate following a review in September 2016.

Now her grieving husband has told the Sunday World that since the court case a number of women from the UK have contacted him on social media claiming Griffin also conned them.

He said, ' It seems this lad was at it all over the place, he was targeting vulnerable people, one girl told me she fell for a sob story he gave her and handed him a right few quid, shortly after she had posted on Facebook about how she had just walked into her house and found her mother had collapsed so naturally she was not thinking straight at the time and swallowed what he told her.

'Another woman, a businesswoman from Liverpool has told me how she got into a relationship with Griffin, he fled there after he failed to turn up for the first court hearing in my case, and that one weekend he brought her and her daughter to a top class hotel and treated them royally, no expense spared kind of thing.

'It was only when she got her credit card statement later she realised he had nicked it and that it was actually, she was paying for everything.

'He appears to have been travelling around using the name Joseph Griffin and not his proper name John, that woman sent me a screenshot she took of a Ryanair boarding card he got when flying from Liverpool to Malaga which shows the name Joseph Griffin on it.'

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Recalling the incident that saw him hand over the cash to Griffin Paul said, ' He was in a pub my brother was drinking in and I wonder now did he overhear a mention of my situation.

'He slipped it into a conversation that he had access to hemp oil which he insisted cured cancer, my brother called me and the state of mind I was in at the time I was prepared to do anything to give Julie a shot at living.

'I know the old saying that when something sounds too good to be true it usually isn't true, but I was desperate and thought I'd try it out, basically she come of chemo and had been told she had not long to live, so this was kind of my last shot at saving her.

'I met him and the first thing he did was ask me to show him a picture of Julie, I did and he told me she was a lovely woman and he was going to do everything he could to save her, which of course is exactly what I wanted to hear.

'He told me to wait in the car and he'd be back with the oil and that was the last I saw of him until he was in court.'

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Griffin's boarding card

Griffin's boarding card

Griffin's boarding card

When Paul realised he had been duped he tried to find Griffin and admits now that he is fortunate his friends and his brother made sure he didn't.

He revealed. 'I have worked as a doorman in the past and when I found out Griffin lived in Mallow I had a few contacts did the doors down there so I asked them to ring me if they spotted him.

'One night one of my mates saw him in the club he was working on and thankfully had the good sense not to call me, instead he rang my brother who was equally sensible and between them they contacted the cops and told him where Griffin was, because at that point, they were looking for him over the case.

'That's how he ended up being arrested, and I know how if I had been told where he was there's every chance I'd be in the next cell to him right now, the two lads did the right thing in not letting me know.

'I've had to smile through a lot of pain in the last few years, I was three years married to Julie, we were together for fifteen and had a lovely daughter together, I also have a stepson with Julie and a daughter from another relationship and all of them helped me through the bad times.

'I guess in the end I have seen justice done but I doubt nine months inside will affect Griffin, do I think he will be rehabilitated, not a chance, he'll never change.'

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