Man stole his dead neighbor's bank card and spent nearly $8,000 on Domino's Pizza
A 24-year-old man has admitted to stealing his dead neighbour’s bank card and going on a shopping spree with it, in the process keeping her passing secret for over two years.
Robert Sharkey, from Grays Hill in Bangor, Wales, was accused of breaking into elderly neighbour Marie Conlon’s house all the way back in August 2015 after she had passed away from natural causes. From there, Sharkey then stole her bank card, using it to pay for his phone bill, his groceries and more, including £6,000 worth of pizza from Domino's over the 24-month period.
Marie Conlon, who was believed to be 68 years old when she died, had not been seen alive since January 2015. But more than two years later in October of 2017, she was discovered in the bedroom of her Larkspur Rise flat in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, and law enforcement needed answers.
Robert Sharkey, who was a neighbour of Ms Conlon at the time of her death, was arrested, and charged with preventing the lawful burial of a corpse on dates between August 2015 and October 2017. Sharkey appeared at Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday, September 11, to face trial for his crimes. With 11 charges in total against his name, the 24-year-old pleaded guilty to 10 of them.
Sharkey pleaded guilty of breaking into his neighbour’s house and using it as his own personal supply shed, taking items such as batteries and a coffee mug at his own leisure. Sharkey also admitted to stealing both £50 in cash, as well as Ms Conlon's First Trust debit card.
He also admitted six separate counts of fraud by false representation by using the card without Ms Conlon’s authority.
From October 2015 to 2017, Belfast Crown Court heard that Sharkey had used Conlon's credit card to buy £5,988.39 of food from Domino’s Pizza, as well as £3,279.80 spent from July 2016 to October 2017 on various groceries from Sainsbury’s.
It appears that Sharkey effectively lived his life for that two-year period on the deceased woman's dime: he also bought mobile phone credit from phone company O2, splashing out £1,030 in the time period between March 2016 and October 2017.
What's more, the card was also used to pay Power NI £285, and two other payments were made using the card to the Department of Financial Land and Property Service of £573.83 in September 2016, as well as £586.20 in September 2017.
Having pleaded guilty to the charges, Sharkey will appear in front of Belfast Crown once more, to be sentenced for his 10 offences on Friday October 12. In the meantime, however, the court will adjourn on September 24, after both the prosecution and defence asked for more time to go over Robert Sharkey's 11th and final charge.
Presiding Judge Geoffrey Miller told Sharkey: "I am releasing you on continuing bail. You should re-appear on the 24th of September, when the court will receive a further update on the outstanding count." Admitting to a slew of criminal offences, the only charge Sharkey did not plead guilty was breaking into Ms Conlon’s flat between June and October 2015, saying he did not steal a Bank of Ireland debit card.