Sunday 23 November 2014

Mother-of-two jailed for stealing from employer 'to pay bills'

Fiona Ferguson

Published 24/07/2014 | 16:18

A mother-of-two who stole over €8,000 from her employer to pay the bills has been sentenced to three years in prison, with the final two years suspended.

Pauline Doyle (57), of Treesdale, Mount Merrion pleaded guilty to one count of stealing a credit card and three counts of stealing cash from her former employer, AB Mauri Ltd in Stillorgan, on dates in May and June 2011.

Doyle, who worked as a personal assistant at the company, has three previous convictions for forgery and larceny dating back to 2001.

Passing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Mary Ellen Ring said it was a “difficult” case and that Doyle had lost her family, her job, her house and contact with some of her siblings, mostly because of her own actions.

She said Doyle had “taken the easy way out” and that most people with bills to pay do not steal from their employer.

“Businesses small and large have struggled to survive. Every penny counts,” said Judge Ring.

She said it was a breach of trust which led to financial loss for the employer, and that the proposal of Doyle taking 15 years to repay the company at €10 per week is “absurd”.

Judge Ring accepted that Doyle was ashamed of her offending behaviour, but said she needs further intervention as she seems to resort to this type of offending in times of stress. A probation report put her at “moderate risk” of re-offending.

Garda Paul Kelly told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that the company had ordered a credit card for an employee based in the UK which was to be delivered to the Stillorgan office. However it failed to arrive.

It was found that the €8,597.81 had been used on the card and there were 13 ATM withdrawals in Stillorgan for the maximum daily allowance of €650, with a cash advance fee of €11.37 each time.

After Gardaí obtained the bank statements and viewed CCTV footage at the ATM, they were able to identify Doyle as having made the withdrawals.

She cooperated with gardai and immediately admitted using the credit card.

Gda Kelly said the company is anxious that to get the money back. It had been hoping to freeze a pension she had built up but she withdrew the money.

Gda Kelly agreed with Patrick Reynolds BL, defending, that Doyle was first suspended and then fired. He  said Doyle had spent the money on bills and college fees.

As a young woman Doyle emigrated to the UK and raised two daughters alone. She returned to Ireland in 1996 and continued working.

Doyle's eldest daughter died tragically in 2001 from a brain haemorrhage and around this time she forged two cheques leading to her previous convictions.

A psychiatric report said Doyle had “lost everything” and was “suffering from major depression which renders her both helpless and hopeless.”

Mr Reynolds said she had been lodging €10 per week to her solicitors account as repayment.

The court heard Doyle has computerised the library system in in prison and is set to give computer lessons to other inmates.

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