Felixstowe: Maher has shown “a degree of courage” to admit to £1.2m theft, says lawyer
- Credit: Archive
WEARING a grey suit and blue tie, Eddie Maher, whose grey hair was closely cropped, looked composed as he entered his new plea.
Outlining the case, prosecutor Richard Southern QC told the court that on the day of the theft Maher had been on the delivery run with colleague Peter Bunn, who was responsible for carrying cash from the van to the bank.
He said: “Mr Bunn recalls that when they arrived in Felixstowe the bank was not open and he had to wait a while.
“Once inside he was delayed and tried to contact Mr Maher to tell him. He could not make contact but was not at that point concerned because the radio signal was variable.
“It was not until he came out of the bank that he found the van had disappeared.”
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It is thought Maher drove the van to nearby Landguard Point where he got into its secure area and loaded about 30 sacks of cash into a stolen getaway vehicle.
David Nathan QC, mitigating, said it had taken Maher “a degree of courage to face up to an offence as old as this”.
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He added: “An extraordinary aspect of this case is Mr Maher’s daughter-in-law had originally been the partner of his son Lee’s best friend.
“Lee won a lot of money on the lottery and she left her partner to marry Lee.
“When the money ran out, she did a little research on Google on the name Maher and found out he was wanted for the theft back in 1993.
“She heard that there was a reward and she went to the federal authorities.”
He added that shortly before his arrest Maher had visited a local police station to bail Lee King out after he was arrested for a motoring offence.
“He was told by one of the local officers that there was a rumour he was wanted for an offence in the UK,” Mr Nathan added.
“He took the children and his partner to a hotel, no doubt with the intention of fleeing but thought better of it.
“He took his younger son to school and then was arrested the following day.”