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Catch me if you scam Scammer conned man out of €600 for All-Ireland tickets

Fraudster walks free from prison despite there being a UK warrant for his arrest

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Wesley Brennan after leaving Castlerea Prison.

Wesley Brennan after leaving Castlerea Prison.

Our man Patrick confronts Brennan at Heuston train station.

Our man Patrick confronts Brennan at Heuston train station.

Wesley Brennan at Heuston train station, Dublin.

Wesley Brennan at Heuston train station, Dublin.

Wesley Brennan.

Wesley Brennan.

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Wesley Brennan after leaving Castlerea Prison.

'Catch me if you can' conman Wesley Brennan is back openly walking the streets of Dublin - despite being a wanted man in the UK.

The Sunday World watched as the notorious 34-year-old fraudster was released from Castlerea Prison in Roscommon on Friday morning - before taking a train to Dublin and arriving back in the capital shortly after 1pm.

Although Brennan remains a fugitive in Northern Ireland, where he is wanted on yet more fraud charges, it appears no contact had been made in this regard with authorities here prior to his release.

Approached by this newspaper outside Heuston train station, Brennan, who is infamous for scamming victims through romance, GAA and Manchester United related ticketing cons, appeared to suddenly misplace his legendary 'gift of the gab.'

"Are you Wesley," our man asked the mask-clad, baseball-hat wearing fraud?

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Our man Patrick confronts Brennan at Heuston train station.

Our man Patrick confronts Brennan at Heuston train station.

Our man Patrick confronts Brennan at Heuston train station.

"Yeah, who are you?" Brennan replied.

"I'm a journalist with the Sunday World," our reporter replied.

"I'd like to ask you a few questions now you've been released from prison."

"What? No!" Brennan answered, before ditching his plans to get a Luas into the city and scurrying away from our reporter on foot.

Tickets

The life and crimes of Brennan, who continues to be listed as 'unlawfully at large' from Maghaberry Prison in Northern Ireland previously saw him feature on Joe Duffy's Liveline.

He was mostly recently sentenced to a two-year stint in a prison in the Republic in April 2020 after he scammed a woman out of €420 in North Frederick St, Dublin, for non-existent All-Ireland tickets.

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The woman told the RTÉ radio show how Brennan fooled her into believing he had tickets for the sell-out and ultimately drawn 2019 All-Ireland final between Dublin and Kerry.

She explained how she answered an advertisement on Adverts.ie and then exchanged telephone numbers with the person taking out the ad.

They met on the Tuesday before the final and Brennan took the woman's money before telling her to wait in a cafe with the children she had with her.

He said he would be back with the tickets after he collected them in the GAA shop on Dorset Street but he never returned to the woman with either the tickets or the money.

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Wesley Brennan at Heuston train station, Dublin.

Wesley Brennan at Heuston train station, Dublin.

Wesley Brennan at Heuston train station, Dublin.

Earlier this month, Brennan received a suspended three-month sentence for a similar fraud - this time involving Manchester United tickets.

Newcastle West District Court heard that Brennan admitted 'selling' the tickets to a man from Co. Limerick who paid him €600.

Detective Garda Elaine O'Keefe told Newcastle West Court that Brennan claimed he had five season tickets for Old Trafford when he contacted the injured party, who had sought tickets online.

She told Judge Bernadette Owens that €240 was paid via a third-party gambling app on May 17, 2017, and that a further €360 was paid the following day.

CCTV footage was obtained during the Garda investigation and gardaí also retrieved messages which were exchanged between Brennan and the injured party.

Inspector Padraig Sutton revealed that Brennan has 58 previous convictions, including six for similar fraud offences.

Sentence

Solicitor Leanne Purcell said her client - a father-of-three - was abusing drugs around the time of the offences and that he accepts what he did was "utterly wrong".

She added that her client is now clean and sober and is willing to repay the money.

Noting the four-year delay, Judge Owens imposed a three-month prison sentence which she suspended.

In February of 2015, Brennan was jailed for 18 months for stealing a woman's car during their purported first date after he met her through the Plenty of Fish online dating site.

The couple planned to go to a Chinese restaurant in the city, and she drove.

When they reached the city centre, his apparent attitude towards her changed and he began shouting at her about her driving, she told gardaí.

She said she felt he was manipulating her at this point. He told her to get out of the car and let him park, and she did so because she felt she had to.

Brennan got into the car and threw her bag at her before driving away and selling it at a breakers' yard.

The car was later recovered in a broken-up state after parts of it had been used by scrap dealers.

Brennan, of Manor Lodge, Manor Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty to theft of the Honda Accord worth €5,500 at Wicklow Street, in Dublin city centre on March 26, 2013.

Imposing sentence, Judge Martin Nolan said: "He was a bit lacking in the chivalry stakes."

In September of 2017, Brennan was remanded into custody in Northern Ireland accused of an online fraud - again in relation to the sale of tickets to the GAA All-Ireland final.

He appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court on 11 offences across two bills of indictment.

Fraud

In relation to the alleged GAA online ticket fraud, Brennan was charged with fraud by false representation on dates between August 21 and September 7, 2017, in that he allegedly created false advertising with intent to cause loss to a named victim and "at least two other people".

On that same indictment, Brennan was also accused of stealing a PS4, a controller and six games.

The nine counts on the second indictment accuse Brennan of two counts of fraud by false representation, six counts of theft and one of driving while disqualified, allegedly committed on various dates between March 24 and July 6, 2017.

But Brennan scarpered from Maghaberry while on 'home leave' before the case came to trial and remains listed as 'unlawfully at large' on the Northern Ireland Department of Justice website.

An informed source this week told the Sunday World that it was up to the authorities in Northern Ireland to make a request through the gardaí in relation to Brennan if they had wanted to secure custody on his release from prison in the Republic.

"No request was made known to the authorities in Castlerea Prison or the Irish Prison Service in relation to this inmate," a source told the Sunday World.

"So after serving his sentence, he was released."

Notified by the Sunday World of Brennan's release from prison in the Republic, a spokesperson for Northern Ireland's Department of Justice said on Friday: "Wesley Brennan remains UAL (unlawfully at large) in this jurisdiction."

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