Cork publican fined for stealing man’s iPhone in long-running row

A publican denied the theft of an iPhone from a 66-year-old man — where there was bad blood between them for years — but the judge hearing the disputed case noted that the phone was found in a three-inch Wavin pipe behind a fence at the back of The Silver Key pub in Cork city.

Judge Marian O’Leary subsequently sentenced 54-year-old Tony Campion, publican of The Silver Key, Ballintemple, Cork, on charges of stealing Patrick Bresnan’s phone on 16 July 2021. The judge fined Tony Campion €400 on. His attorney Carl O’Mahony indicated that the case could be appealed.

Judge O’Leary said: “There is no question that there has been a serious disagreement between the defendant and the prosecution for many years.

“The alleged theft of a phone took place on July 16, 2021. Mr Bresnan said the phone was snatched from his hand by Mr Campion, who then walked away and entered his cafe. He denied the theft charge, but confirmed that he took the phone. No fingerprints were found on the phone.

“Through an iPhone app, the phone was located in a four-inch Wavin pipe behind a fence in the backyard of Mr. Campion’s pub,” Judge O’Leary said.

The judge referred to a number of witnesses who said they had not seen Mr Campion answer the phone and the witnesses also stated that they had not taken it with them or put it in the plastic tube.

“The state proved that it owned the phone, that the property was seized without permission and hidden in a four-inch Wavin pipe behind a wooden fence. I find him guilty of Section 4 robbery,” Judge O’Leary said.

After the judge sentenced the tax collector, defense attorney Mr. O’Mahony urged the judge to be as lenient as possible with the sentence.

The lawyer said that because of the “ongoing bad blood between these people”, the complainant could see Bresnan’s harsher sentence as a justification for what the defense lawyer described as his (Mr. Bresnan’s) “irrational and delusional”.

If the case is appealed, it is likely to be heard in the Cork Circuit Appeals Court later this year.