PlayStation conman ordered to pay €400 donation to charity

October 2, 2023

A man has escaped a conviction after duping a Convoy man into forking out €180 for a PlayStation 4 that didn’t exist.

Owen Cosgrove appeared via video link charged with an incident of theft in May 2020 at Manor Court, Convoy.

Cosgrove, who is now based in Australia, pleaded guilty after being put on his election by Judge Éiteáin Cunningham.

A 22-year-old, with an address at Drishane, Killeagh, Cork, Cosgrove spoke to tender a guilty plea.

Sergeant Gerard Dalton told the court that John Doherty had reported to Gardai that he was the victim of an online shopping fraud. Mr Doherty has spotted an ad on DoneDeal for a PlayStation 4, which was for sale at €170.

Mr Doherty paid €180, including €10 for postage, via PayPal, but he never received the PlayStation 4. Gardai began to conduct enquiries and identified Cosgrove as the person behind the account in the name of ‘Brian Kelly’ who had advertised the games console for sale.

Gardai spoke to Cosgrove, who made full admissions. The court heard that he has no previous convictions and the €180 has been paid back to Mr Doherty.

Mr Frank Dorrian, solicitor for Cosgrove, said his client’s mood was low at the time and he was ‘short of resources’.

“He has no pattern for this,” Mr Dorrian said. “He works hard and is trying to make a future for himself. This was an aberration and not something he has ever done before. It was clumsy.”

Mr Dorrian told the court that Cosgrove has completed an apprenticeship in metal fabrication and is based in Australia, where he works six days a week.

Judge Cunningham said the court deemed there to be a ‘serious matter’ that involved ‘a huge element of deception’.

“People are online trying to purchase products legitimately,” Judge Cunningham said.

While noting that Cosgrove had pleaded guilty, had no previous convictions and had paid the money back, Judge Cunningham said she had to also note the seriousness of the situation.

Cosgrove was told that if he made a €400 contribution to St Vincent de Paul he would avoid a conviction. The matter was adjourned until October 23.