A BUTCHER who stole more than €5,000 worth of "prime" beef and chicken from the specialist Dublin shop where he worked claimed it had only been "off-cuts fit for a dog".
Jason Mahony (29) admitted stealing from Donnybrook Fair but disputed the value and quantity of the goods.
He has been ordered to pay compensation to his former employers to avoid jail.
Judge William Early found he had stolen the full amount claimed by the outlet, but told Mahony to pay back the original purchase cost – €2,400.
The judge said he could not accept that the stolen meat was to be used as dog food.
Mahony, of Tymonville Lawn, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to stealing meat from Donnybrook Fair, Morehampton Road, on August 29, 2012. The store manager told Dublin District Court 150kg of beef fillet and sirloin steak, cube roll and chicken fillets had been taken with a net value of €2,400 and a total retail value of €5,082.
The judge adjourned the case to July 22 and said he would suspend a four-month sentence for a year if the compensation was paid.