Europe

Former Anglo boss sentenced to six years in jail

David Drumm Image copyright AFP
Image caption David Drumm moved to the US in 2009 but was extradited in 2016

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has been sentenced to six years in jail.

He was sentenced on Wednesday at the Dublin Criminal Court.

The ex-banker was found guilty earlier in June of authorising a €7.2bn (£5.4bn) conspiracy to defraud and of false accounting.

Drumm had pleaded not guilty to conspiring to dishonestly make Anglo's balance sheet look better between March and September 2008.

He also denied knowingly giving false figures to the market that December.

Celtic Tiger collapse

Anglo Irish, which was nationalised in 2009 and wound down from 2011, was synonymous with the lending practices that drove the 'Celtic Tiger' boom and subsequent bust, pushing the Republic of Ireland to the brink of meltdown in 2010.

Mr Drumm moved to the US in 2009 but was extradited in 2016.

Judge Karen O'Connor said that people were entitled to trust their banks and this was grossly reprehensible behaviour.

She said Drumm was in a position of trust in the bank.

Analysis: Shane Harrison, BBC NI Dublin Correspondent

David Drumm's legal team accepted before sentencing that he would get a jail term.

Once the poster boy of Irish banking, Anglo-Irish Bank is expected to cost the Irish taxpayer up to €30bn (£26.3bn) over the coming years.

Ireland's banking-related property crash destroyed both lives and livelihoods.

The three other men convicted on similar charges got between two and three and a half years behind bars.

So, there is some surprise, but little sympathy for Drumm, the main mover behind the fraud, with his six year jail term.

The passage of time may have blunted some of the anger people felt about Anglo, but far from all of it.

Image copyright PA
Image caption David Drumm is a former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank

Judge O'Connor sentenced him to six years and ordered that he would get credit for the five months he had spent in a prison in Boston, before being extradited to Ireland in March 2016.

'Humble beginnings'

She said that she felt "the appropriate headline figure is eight years imprisonment in relation to both counts", but ordered that he serve a six-year sentence after considering mitigating factors.

The court heard that Drumm had emerged from "humble beginnings" and had risen to "dizzying heights".

He was the fourth of eight children from Skerries in north County Dublin.

Drumm left school after his Leaving Certificate and did an accountancy apprenticeship.

He joined Anglo in 1993, when he was 26, and worked his way up to the position of chief executive "somewhat unexpectedly" in 2005.

The court heard Drumm was married with two children.

Defence counsel, Brendan Grehan, said Drumm was facing a sentence that would reverberate not just in Ireland but much farther afield.

He said that with the benefit of hindsight, Drumm acknowledged he had made a "huge error of judgement".

Mr Grehan added that his client's future options were restricted and he would carry with him this "notoriety" for the rest of his days.

More on this story