Two brothers involved in the theft of some €205,000 from a reclusive, elderly woman in Galway have each been  sentenced to six years in prison, with the final 18 months suspended.

According to the Irish Independent, the now 76-year-old woman can no longer live independently and is waiting for a place in a care home.

She told Gardaí she handed over her life savings to the men over 18 months, because she feared for her life and was ashamed to tell her family.

46-year old Thomas Coen and his 38-year old brother Michael Coen of Corrib Park, Newcastle, Galway, had pleaded guilty to theft of large sums of cash from the woman between June 2014 and November 2015.

They had carried out inferior work in her home and garden, inflating prices while demanding payment on an almost daily basis over 18 months until Gardaí were alerted.

In a victim impact statement read out at the Galway Circuit Criminal Court, the woman said that the whole ordeal has left her physically and mentally exhausted, and she can no longer live alone.

The brothers accepted €205,000 had been stolen but said they had taken just €80,000 of it for themselves and other people were behind the scam as well.

Judge Rory McCabe said the two men engaged, possibly with others, in the systematic, pre-meditated, nasty and very ugly harassment of an elderly woman. Both had previous convictions for dishonesty.




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