Friday 26 December 2014

Shop staff 'unhappy' with working conditions stole €3,700 worth of cigarettes

Andrew Phelan

Published 04/08/2014 | 18:09

Two men given 10-month suspended sentence
Two men given 10-month suspended sentences

TWO shop supervisors stole €3,700 worth of cigarettes over a "grievance" about their jobs, a court heard.

Muhammad Saleem (28) and Muhammad Rasheed (30) were given 10-month suspended sentences at Dublin District Court.

They were unhappy with their working conditions when they stole the cigarettes over a 12-day period, the court heard.

Suspending the sentences for a year, Judge Michael Walsh also fined them €1,500 each after they admitted theft charges.

He said the offence had been a "breach of trust" by the accused.

Saleem, of Southfield, South Circular Road and Rasheed, with an address at Manor Street, Dublin 7 pleaded guilty to theft at Centra, Temple Bar between January 16 and 28, 2014.

The court heard a theft was reported to gardai on January 26 and CCTV equipment was put in place in a downstairs office.

Surveillance was carried out and the accused were seen taking the cigarettes and were arrested.

They made full admissions when interviewed by gardai.

Saleem, a married father-of-one, had been working in the store for eight years and Rasheed had been there for a year.

They accepted responsibility when confronted and paid compensation for the theft.

They were fired as a result but got new jobs since the theft.

Defence Solicitor Philip Hannon explained that the defendants' conditions of employment had allegedly deteriorated after a change in ownership at the store.

There were "a number of grievances" in relation to rostering timetables and shift allowances.

These changes had "a negative impact on their income and the quality of their work environment", Mr Hannon said.

They then embarked on an "escapade" of taking cigarettes.

It was an excuse they "did not want to labour".

"They knew exactly what they had done and made full apologies to the owner and were so ashamed of what they had done they couldn't face the owner in person," Mr Hannon said.

It was an isolated incident, the accused had learned a "salutary lesson" and would not come before the court again, Mr Hannon said.

They had saved to pay compensation for what was taken and this was paid before the court case.

Neither defendant had any previous convictions.

Evening Herald

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