Published: 13:00, 04 September 2014
A bipolar fraudster who conned the senior partner of a Kent-wide veterinary group out of £200,000 will spend the next year in prison.
Conor Brannigan, from Nenagh in Ireland, pleaded guilty to three counts of defrauding his future brother-in-law, James Hoare.
Mr Hoare, senior partner of Mote Park Veterinary Group which runs surgeries in Maidstone, Harrietsham, Kings Hill and Sittingbourne, met Brannigan after his sister started dating the trickster four years ago.
Roscommon Circuit Criminal Court heard how 41-year-old Brannigan was married with three children, engaged separately to two other women and had a girlfriend in Poland with another child.
Brannigan told Mr Hoare that he was an experienced accountant and offered to sell him land.
Mr Hoare paid Brannigan £4,790, £19,961 and £174,861 between 2010 and 2011 for the large plot in southern Ireland after securing a £219,000 loan.
After making numerous attempts to establish the status of the sale, he emailed Brannigan demanding his money back.
Brannigan then came clean, confirming he was in serious financial trouble.
In a statement to gardaí he said: “I can’t explain it. I was living four separate lives. I am totally aware of how lives have been affected by my actions. I would genuinely think at times that the money was mine and then reality would kick in. I genuinely intended to buy the land."
Brannigan was admitted to a psychiatric unit where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Judge Tony Hunt said the crime had severely impacted Mr Hoare and his family and that the amount was so large that there was no prospect of it being repaid.
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