A MUM-of-two who stole over €50,000 from her employers, Harvey Norman, has been given a suspended sentence.
Martina Cronin (40), of Parc Na Sillogue Court, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty to stealing €53,000 from the electronics retailer in Carrickmines Retail Park between February 1, 2011 and February 29, 2012.
Judge Patrick McCartan noted Cronin was making efforts to repay the money and said there would be little to be gained by jailing her. He imposed a 12 month sentence which was suspended for three years on condition that she continues to repay the money.
Garda Colm Gleeson told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Cronin began working with Harvey Norman in 2008. A couple of years later, she was promoted to the role of administration manager in the Carrickmines branch.
One of her functions was to look after the financial administration for that store.
Gda Gleeson told prosecuting counsel, Paul Carroll BL, that Cronin would take money from the safe and bring it home. The following day, she would replace it with the following day's takings, so that it wouldn't be noticed.
Lodgements that were due to go to the bank never made it, said the garda. In total, €53,668 was taken. The largest sum taken at any one time was €6,000.
Gda Gleeson said that everything “got on top” of Cronin financially. He said she had paid back €10,000 before she was interviewed by gardaí.
Defence counsel Daniel Keleher BL said Cronin claimed that her son may have thrown out €20,000 while he was cleaning her room, having mistaken it for rubbish.
“She had money hidden in her room to make it look like rubbish,” he said.
Gda Gleeson said: “I've nothing to dispute that, but €20,000 is a lot of money to mistake for rubbish. That's only my personal opinion.”
Judge McCartan said the explanation provided by Cronin in relation to the €20,000 was “cock and bull”.
“I don't accept that for a minute. He is the first 15-year-old boy I've heard of who doesn't know the difference between money and rubbish,” said the judge.
Mr Keleher said his client “is absolutely terrified of what would happen to her children if she got a custodial sentence”.
“She takes full responsibility for everything. She's not going to blame anybody,” said Mr Keleher.
Counsel told the court his client was offering to pay €150 a week.
“It's her intention to pay every single euro back of the €53,000, irrespective of the outcome here today.”