A 22-year-old man was convicted of fraud after tricking a 15-year-old boy into paying €450 for an iPhone 8 which he then traded for a bag of sugar before the deal was completed, a source has claimed. court.
Randon Maughan was convicted in his absence after failing to appear in Swords District Court.
Issuing a warrant for conviction, Judge Dermot Dempsey said Maughan had perpetrated a “despicable swindle on this young man”.
The court heard how Maughan met the teenager and showed him a legitimate iPhone and a receipt registered in his name.
The accused was a passenger in a car when the meeting took place in the car park of Kealys Pub, Cloughran on January 2, 2018.
After inspecting the phone, the teenager agreed a price with Maughan, but when he opened the bag after the accused left the scene, he realized the phone and box had been exchanged for a bag of sugar.
In his court deposition, the injured party said he saw the phone for sale on DoneDeal and called the number linked to the ad.
He spoke to the defendant and arranged to buy the phone the next day.
The young man, who was 15 at the time, said he offered to pick him up but the accused wanted to meet at the Kealys Pub as he was going to work at 5pm.
He said Maughan gave him the phone’s serial number and IMEI number and contacted Apple to make sure everything was legit and the phone hadn’t been stolen.
On January 2, the teenager, accompanied by his father, went to meet Maughan.
He said the car had gone to the far end of the car park where there was no CCTV and he told the accused to meet him where he was just outside the pub.
The victim said Maughan, with an address at Bay 2 Collinstown Park, Forest Road, Swords, was in the passenger seat and he spoke to her through the window.
He showed her the phone and the teenager checked to make sure the serial number and IMEI number were the same, which they were.
The accused also showed him a receipt for the phone registered to Brandon Maughan.
“I asked him if it was him and he said it was,” the teenager told the court.
The aggrieved party then began to negotiate a price for the phone, he offered €400 but Maughan wanted €500 and the pair eventually settled on a figure of €450.
However, the teenager said that when he returned the phone to Maughan to get the money, the defendant ‘made a big scene’, said he wanted €500 for it and the car drove away a short distance from the potential buyer.
He said the car then reversed and Maughan said he would take the €450 for the phone, but by then he had replaced the phone and the box in the bag with a bag of sugar.
The young man only realized what had happened when he opened the gray toiletry bag after the car left.
The victim tried to call Maughan but couldn’t get through.
After calling Gardaí and reporting the incident, the defendant started calling back and uttering threats saying “don’t fuck me” and “how’s your sugar”, the young man told the court.
Garda David Cahill said he attended the scene and spoke to the injured party who described what happened and gave a description of the car involved and the man he had been dealing with and whom he had described as heavy, with a scar on his chin and a bruise. anorak with a fur collar.
He said he had obtained CCTV from Kealy’s Pub which showed the transaction taking place and he had also obtained footage from the phone shop which showed the actual purchase of the phone.
The phone purchased from the store had the same serial number and IMEI as the injured party attempted to purchase, Garda Cahill added.
The garda said they showed the CCTV to a colleague who identified a man in the footage as Brandon Maughan.
Defense attorney Annette Kealy sought a court instruction saying the state’s evidence was all circumstantial.
However, Judge Dermot Dempsey said he was “fairly satisfied” that the state had more than sufficiently demonstrated that Brandon Maughan bought the phone and “perpetrated this despicable fraud on this young man”.
He convicted Maughan in the District Court and issued a warrant for the conviction of the accused.