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Court case Former hospital worker to face trial accused of more than 540 theft and deception offences

Gerard Russell (54), of New Park Road, Blackrock, South Dublin, was granted bail after he was charged at Donnybrook garda station three weeks ago

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St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

A former staff member at St Vincent's University Hospital is to face trial accused of more than 540 theft and deception offences.

Gerard Russell (54), of New Park Road, Blackrock, South Dublin, was granted bail after he was charged at Donnybrook garda station three weeks ago.

His case had its first listing at a recent sitting of Dún Laoghaire District Court.

Mr Russell did not have to attend, due to Covid-19 restrictions on court attendance, but was represented by solicitor James MacGuill.

Garda Adrian Coffey, of Donnybrook station, said there were 546 charges in total, all under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

Judge Ann Watkin heard the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed trial on indictment in the circuit court.

Mr Russell is accused of theft of various sums of money belonging to St Vincent's University Hospital and deception for his own gain, which includes allegations he induced Amazon UK Marketplace to provide various goods on a number of dates.

Mr MacGuill told the court the alleged offences date back to 2014, the investigation began in 2016, and his client was charged three weeks ago.

He said there was already an issue of delay when gardaí asked for the DPP's office to be granted 10 weeks to complete the book of evidence.

The solicitor said the DPP could have waited until it was ready before his client was charged.

Granting the request by gardaí, Judge Watkin said she was entitled to allow the 10-week adjournment and that was not unreasonable due to the number of charges.

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She remanded Mr Russell on continuing bail in his absence, to appear on October 6, when he will be served with the book of evidence.

Judge Watkin acceded to Mr MacGuill's request to direct gardaí to provide disclosure of interview videos.

A ruling on a legal aid application was deferred until the next date.

Mr MacGuill said his client had provided a statement of means three weeks ago, but a garda query over it was later raised.

Gda Coffey said he was not objecting to legal aid but, he said, the statement of means was not complete, and the stated salary did not match the accused's job description.

Mr MacGuill explained to the court his client had rented a room for €500 a month to a student who was about to move out.

Judge Watkin said the earnings needed to be vouched.

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