An Englishman who was a Dublin-based gold dealer, who bought and sold a stolen All-Ireland winners medal, belonging to Meath football legend, Martin O’Connell, has been spared a sentence and a criminal conviction.
John Peddubriwny, 62, of Camac Park, Bluebell, Dublin, pleaded guilty to possessing stolen property.
It followed an investigation when the 1987 medal, won by former Meath footballer Martin O’Connell, was taken with other items from his parents’ home on November 17, 2020.
Dublin District Court heard he worked as a “gold scrapper” on Dublin’s Francis Street.
Peddubriwny received a call from a man who told him he had “gold for sale”, and they met on November 18.
He weighed and then bought the All-Ireland medal and other gold jewellery: an elderly woman’s wedding band, a chain, and a jubilee medal, worth about €1,000.
He paid €571 for them at a rate of €15 per gram and then supplied them to another gold trader for €18.36 a gram.
The other gold items were melted down
But the second gold dealer became aware of media coverage of the theft and spared the All Ireland medal, which has been recovered.
Pleading for leniency, his barrister said his client was from England originally but has lived in Ireland for 13 years. As a result, he was not aware of the significance of the GAA medal.
He had no previous criminal convictions and had set up the business with his brother, who later died. The defence said the person who contacted him had claimed to be a friend of his brother.