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LIMERICK BANK CLERK ADMITS TO FORGING PROMISSORY NOTES |

LIMERICK BANK CLERK ADMITS TO FORGING PROMISSORY NOTES

Limerick, Ireland – In a shocking turn of events at the Connaught Assizes in Limerick on Saturday, Henry Ribton, a Bank of Ireland clerk from Sligo, pleaded guilty to forging three promissory notes. The notes in question amounted to £25, £15, and £1, leading to a serious financial loss for the bank.

Before Mr Justice Kenny, Ribton admitted his guilt, revealing that he had succumbed to the temptations of gambling, resulting in the loss of substantial sums of money. Mr J.H. Powell, K.C., who spoke on behalf of Ribton, appealed for mercy, emphasizing the clerk’s remorse and the acknowledgment of his wrongdoing.

According to Powell, Ribton’s descent into forging documents was driven by his financial troubles arising from an unfortunate habit of betting. The defence attorney painted a picture of a man who, despite a previously untarnished reputation, had fallen prey to the pitfalls of gambling.

In an attempt to mitigate the severity of Ribton’s actions, an excellent character reference was provided by the Rev. Canon Ardill from Sligo and Mr Counsel, the Manager of the Sligo Branch of the Bank of Ireland. Both testimonials aimed to emphasize that Ribton’s criminal actions were out of character.

Despite the pleas for leniency, Justice Kenny expressed regret that the case did not qualify for treatment under the First Offenders Act. The court recognized the gravity of the situation, with the Bank of Ireland facing a substantial loss exceeding £600 due to Ribton’s actions.

Justice Kenny highlighted the systematic and continuous nature of Ribton’s offences, spanning over several years. The clerk had resorted to forging the names of depositors to raise funds and pay off his gambling-related debts. This deceitful act had also deceived Mr Counsel, the bank’s agent.

While acknowledging Ribton’s remorse and evident punishment, Justice Kenny deemed it necessary to impose physical consequences for the systematic and continuous nature of the crimes committed. Consequently, the court sentenced Ribton to twelve months of hard labour.

The case has not only exposed the vulnerability of individuals to the pitfalls of gambling but also sheds light on the severe consequences that such actions can have on financial institutions and the trust placed in them by their clients. The Bank of Ireland now faces the daunting task of recovering from the significant financial setback caused by Ribton’s forgery.

Weekly Freeman’s Journal – Saturday 14 December 1912

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