Man (72) applied for a fake Irish passport in name of a dead child, court hears

Randolph Parker made application while he was living on a houseboat in Amsterdam

A 72-year-old US man, whom gardaí identified when they sent his fingerprints to the FBI, was living on a houseboat in Amsterdam when he applied for a false Irish passport in the name of a dead Irish child, a court has heard.

Randolph Parker appeared at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Friday for a sentencing hearing after he pleaded guilty to four counts of providing false information to obtain Irish passports in the names of two dead infants and a fifth charge of possessing an Irish driving licence that he knew to be false.

Det Garda Padraig Hanley had previously testified that gardaí were only able to identify him when they contacted the US embassy and forwarded his fingerprints to the FBI. The agency confirmed that he was Randolph Parker who had been arrested in Michigan in 1970.

Det Garda Hanley outlined the background to the investigation which led to Parker’s arrest when he went into the passport office in Cork on September 14th, 2023 to collect a passport that he had applied for in the name of Geoffrey Warbrook.

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Det Garda Hanley said gardaí believed at the time that the accused’s name was Philip Francis Morris and that he had only applied for a false passport in the name of Geoffery Warbrook, who died in 1952 while still an infant.

However, they subsequently learned that Philip Morris had also died in 1952 and when they questioned Parker, who had also obtained an Irish driving licence using the false name of Philip Morris, he refused to reveal his real identity.

“We had two identities and four false Irish passports – two in the name of Geoffrey Warbrook and two in the name of Philip Morris – we were then in the situation where we had no idea who this person was,” said Det Garda Hanley.

The court heard Parker had been remanded in Cork Prison after he was first charged. While he was willing to confirm that he was Randolph Parker, he did not co-operate further with Garda inquiries, though he was “affable and articulate”.

Questioned by prosecution barrister Emmet Boyle BL, Det Garda Hanley said gardaí had established that the accused had a US passport in 1994 in the name of Randolph Parker and they believed that he entered Ireland in 1988 using that passport.

Gardaí established that he had travelled from Ireland all around Europe and had lived for a time on a houseboat in Amsterdam, which was where he was living when he applied for a false passport in the name of Geoffrey Warbrook on June 7th, 2022.

Det Garda Hanley said that Parker did not have any family in Ireland, but he had made friends all over the country. However, none of them knew him as either Randolph Parker, Philip Morris or Geoffrey Warbrook as he used yet another name in all his dealings with his friends.

Det Garda Hanley confirmed to defence barrister Brendan Kelly BL that Parker had no previous convictions that gardaí could find and he also accepted that Parker was a model prisoner in Cork Prison.

Mr Kelly put it to Det Garda Hanley that Parker was so well thought of in Cork Prison that, unusually for a remand prisoner, he had been given a job in the prison library. “That does not surprise me, he appears to be a man of books,” said Det Garda Hanley.

Mr Kelly said that his client had come to Europe on business in the late 1980s but had experienced some difficulties with his visa and he had been advised by a business associate in relation to the Irish passport system and how to obtain an Irish passport.

Pleading for leniency, Mr Kelly pointed out that his client had no previous convictions and he had spared the state the expense and trouble of what could have proven a complex trial by coming forward from the District Court on a signed plea of guilty.

Judge Jonathan Dunphy said he wanted some time to consider the matter of penalty and he remanded Parker in continuing custody for sentence on April 22nd.

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