An elderly man with an American accent who was previously charged with using the name of a baby who died in the 1950s to apply for a passport in Cork, has been charged with a second and similar offence involving another baby who passed away several months after his birth.
Det Garda Padraig Hanley, of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, told Cork District Court today that they still have no idea as to the true identity of the man who has been in custody since last month.
The man had allegedly identified himself as Philip Frank Morris for the purpose of securing a passport.
Det Garda Hanley told Judge Olann Kelleher that they are liaising with Interpol in a bid to determine the identity of the man, whom he said speaks with an American accent.
He told the court that whilst many countries use digitised fingerprint systems some jurisdictions still rely on manual methods.
Det Garda Hanley stated that the man was not helping them in any way as they attempt to determine his real identity.
“We are at a loss at the moment as to who this person is. He has offered us no assistance.”
The man was arrested last month at the passport office in South Mall in Cork. He was charged in the name of Philip Frank Morris of no fixed address, with a date of birth in the 1950s.
He was charged with two offences relating to allegedly providing false or misleading information in order to obtain a passport.
‘We are satisfied that he is not Philip Morris or Geoffrey Warbrook’
Det Garda Hanley previously told the court that the man allegedly used the name of a baby, Philip Frank Morris, who was born in December 1952 but subsequently died, to apply for a passport in Cork.
Det Garda Hanley said that when questioned the man said he was residing in Ireland and needed the passport to leave the country. Dt Sgt Hanley said the man did not co-operate with officers in any way following his arrest.
He said the man held an Irish passport for three decades but only recently obtained a PPS number.
He told Judge Kelleher that they had spoken to the brother of the late Philip Morris who died at the age of four months in 1953.
Today at Cork District Court, the man was charged with an additional offence. Det Garda Hanley said that the man made no reply when he was charged with providing information or documents on 11 September last at the passport office in South Mall which were false or misleading.
The court heard that the man allegedly had a passport in the name of Geoffrey Warbrook. However, Det Garda Hanley said gardaí have spoken to relatives of Mr Warbrook who confirmed that he died as a young baby in the early 1950s.
“Both of those two people (Philip Morris and Geoffrey Warbrook) died. We have interviewed siblings of both of those people who died in 1952 and 1953. They died within months of their birth.
“We are satisfied that he is not Philip Morris or Geoffrey Warbrook (the two names on passports allegedly seized from the man).
“There are two passports, one of which has been renewed. Numerous international enquiries regarding fingerprints and photos have been made. I have gone down every avenue we could go down.”
Det Garda Hanley said that they were carrying out “numerous international inquiries” with Interpol in a bid to track the identity of the man in custody. They are also making financial inquiries.
Det Garda Hanley applied for a further remand in custody in the case to facilitate further investigation.
Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer asked the garda to name the agencies they have been in touch with in connection to his client.
He said domestically they had liaised with the Irish Passport Office, the Department of Social Protection and the Revenue Commissioners.
Their international investigation is with Interpol whom Det Garda Hanley said were making inquiries with “every national police force”.
“They (Interpol) have received some response. It is inconclusive at the moment. The issue with the United States is that some States don’t have the latest fingerprints in the system. Some have a manual system.
“Interpol has replied to us and inquiries are ongoing. We believe due to his accent, that he could be from the US.”
Det Garda Hanley said they had lodged inquires to the US State Department because it appears that the man has an American accent.
Mr Buttimer said his client could be “Canadian or from any English speaking country”.
The man was remanded in custody to appear before Cork District Court again on 10 October next.
The elderly man was previously charged with two similar offences.
One relates to an unknown date between 12-25 September 2012 at the Passport Office on South Mall, Cork, and the application for the issue of a passport.
The particulars of the charge state that the man provided information for the issue of a passport which were false or misleading in a material respect and which he knew or believed were false or misleading or were reckless as to whether they were false or misleading. The second charge is similar but refers to the date of 7 June 2022
Source: RTE News