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Fall case Serial scammer withdrew compo claim hours before it was due to get underway

Convicted conman Derek Whelan (25), of Moorefield Avenue in Clondalkin, had launched personal injury claim against South Dublin County Council

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Derek Whelan. Pic: Courtpix

Derek Whelan. Pic: Courtpix

Derek Whelan. Pic: Courtpix

A scammer with a history of violence who conned more than 20 people out of thousands of euro withdrew a compo claim for a fall just hours before it was due to get underway at Dublin Circuit Civil Court this week.

Convicted conman Derek Whelan (25), of Moorefield Avenue in Clondalkin, had launched personal injury claim against South Dublin County Council seeking up to €60,000 in compensation for injuries he claimed to have received in a fall.

The case was set to be heard on Wednesday morning but the court was told Whelan was withdrawing the claim.

No reason was given for the withdrawal of the claim.

Whelan’s case was set to go ahead in the same court the following day but he decided to withdraw the claim shortly before it was due to go ahead and he was not present in court.

The case was first due to be heard in May last year while Whelan was serving a sentence for assault.

At that time he had been transported to the Four Courts in Dublin in a prison van by prison officers but the case had to be adjourned after the prison officers failed to bring him into the court room. It later transpired they had brought him to the wrong courtroom in the complex.

Whelan is no stranger to courts having found himself before them on a number of occasions over the years.

By the age of 17 he was making thousands of euros by posting fake ads online for concert tickets and phones.

He made €8,500 after duping 22 people into paying for the non-existent items after he put up ads on sites including adverts.ie and dondeal.ie.

When they contacted him about the items he said he would send them once they lodged the cash into either of two bank accounts he had access to.

One man complained that he never receive tickets he had paid Whelan €130 for and the teen asked for his debit card details claiming he was going to refund the money. Instead he used the man’s card details to buy a €220 phone.

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While Whelan may have easily found victims to fall for his fraud he was far from a master criminal. He used his own card to pay for the ads he placed on the websites and used his own phone number a name when posting the ads.

He was easily tracked by gardai and arrested on June 14 before being released while a file was prepared for the DPP.

Four days after being released from custody he conned another out of €380 using the same scam.

He was given a two year suspended sentence after being convicted of 24 counts of fraud in May 2015.

He was warned by the judge that prison would be his future if he returned to crime but he failed to heed the warning.

Just six months later he was involved in a serious group attack on a victim who was knocked unconscious and thought they were going to die.

Whelan and two pals attacked victim David Gaynor in Neilstown Shopping Centre in Dublin on November 30, 2015 while still on his two year suspended sentence.

Whelan viciously attacked their victim who then fell to the ground but the gang kept beating and kicking him while he was on the ground. One of the group hit him with a golf club during the attack and Mr Gaynor said he thought he was going to die. He subsequently lost consciousness and suffered a broken cheek bone and eye socket and needed multiple stitches after the attack.

The court heard Whelan had been a cocaine user. He tried to offer compensation to Mr Gaynor but this was refused.

Whelan was given a four and a half year sentence with the final 18 months suspended on the basis that he take part in anger management and victim awareness programmes.

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