A young man went on a nine month rampage of deception and theft, robbing an old lady, seven petrol stations and even stealing a car from a man visiting his dying brother in hospital.gavel1

Dean Wells, 19, began carrying out the crimes just after celebrating his 18th birthday.

During that time he robbed seven petrol stations after driving off without paying for fuel.

The petrol stations included Tobins Filling Station, Glencar Filling Station, Kelly’s Centra, Mountain Top, Maxol station on Main Street, Muff, Dry Arch Service Station, Kernan’s Centra, Moorfield, Ramelton and Kernan’s Newtowncunningham.

On another occasion he called to the home of an 86 year old pensioner at Ballymacool, Letterkenny and claimed to be from the ESB.

He deceived her into handing over her bank cards and her social security card.

He tried to use the cards in a number of different outlets in Letterkenny before withdrawing €600 using the woman’s AIB banklink card at a local cash machine.

He later revealed he came up with the plan after seeing a similar plotline on a television soap opera the night before.

On April 1st last, Wells, with an address at 1 Cill A Oire, Killylastin, Letterkenny, was a patient at Sligo General Hospital.

Wells managed to confuse a motorist who had arrived to see his dying brother who died just a few minutes later.

He got the keys to the man’s green BMW and drove towards Letterkenny but was spotted by Gardai at Ballintra outside Donegal Town.

A pursuit took place and Gardai in Ballybofey eventually managed to stop Wells using a stinger device in Ballybofey.

A dog belonging to the owner of the stolen car was found in the passenger seat.

When apprehended by Gardai, Wells suffered an epileptic fit.

Barrister for Wells, Mr Damien Crawford, said many people had been working tirelessly to help the accused.

He said his client suffered from a number of conditions including Aspergers Syndrome and has a child’s view of the world.

He says he can take no responsibility for his actions and that his mother had done trojan work in trying to help him.

He gave an example of one occasion when he used a stolen cheque to buy four lambs at a mart.

“His grandfather was at the mart and he was mortified. What nineteen year old goes and buys four lambs at a mart?’ asked Mr Crawford.

He said his client got the idea of robbing the pensioner posing as an ESB official from watching a soap opera the night before.

He said his client, who is on remand in prison, cries when he has to go back after court appearances.

He also revealed that on one occasion he had an eyebrow shaved off in his sleep while in prison.

Mr Crawford said that with the help of his solicitor, Mr Gordon Curley, a place had been found in a live-in facility in Stranorlar.

However, the HSE had dropped out of the plan at the last minute saying Wells was not entitled to it.

Mr Crawford suggested that a representative from the HSE could come into court to explain the reasons why Wells had been precluded from the plan.

Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case until Thursday to see if a representative from the HSE could come to court to progress the matter.

“I would be very open to dealing with it in a creative way if we can find a place which would be appropriate. I share your view but it appears to be a bureaucratic issue,” said Judge Kelly.

 


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