Friday 16 November 2018

Galway hurler avoids jail over €70k theft after 'mystery donor' helps repay money

David Glennon arriving at Galway Circuit Court. Photo: Hany Marzouk
David Glennon arriving at Galway Circuit Court. Photo: Hany Marzouk

Ann Healy

A HURLER who stole an estimated €70,000 from his former employers has been given 240 hours of community service in lieu of seven concurrent two-year prison sentences.

Galway star David Glennon (27) pleaded guilty to the theft of various amounts of cash from his employers to fund a gambling addiction.

Glennon, from Gurtymadden, Loughrea, pleaded guilty this time last year to seven sample charges involving the theft of various amounts of cash, totalling €40,460, from J&C Kenny Wine Distributors, Galway, on various dates between November 1, 2014 and  July 8, 2015 .

The facts in a further 16 similar charges were admitted, bringing the total amount involved to an estimated €70,000.

Prosecuting barrister, Geri Silke told the court today that a mystery donor had repaid €65,000 on Glennon’s behalf to the family-run Galway  company and a further €5,000 had also been repaid to the victims on his behalf.

Reading the probation report which was handed into court today, Judge Rory McCabe remarked Glennon “had an arrangement between himself and  the donor to deal with debt”.

Galway’s David Glennon is all alone against Clare quartet David McInerney, Cian Dillon, Patrick O'Connor and Brendan Bugler
Galway’s David Glennon is all alone against Clare quartet David McInerney, Cian Dillon, Patrick O'Connor and Brendan Bugler

Ms Silke reminded Judge McCabe he had placed the offences in the midrange on the scale of gravity and had indicated a headline sentence in January of four years.  She said he had also said the appropriate sentence was two-years after taking mitigating factors into account.

Judge McCabe noted today that Glennon had apologised for his actions and had repaid the money.  He said the report indicated Glennon posed  a low risk of reoffending and was remorseful.

The judge then sentenced Glennon to two years in prison on each of the seven theft charges, the sentences to run concurrently,  and in lieu of each sentence he directed Glennon carry out the maximum of 240 hours community service, also to run concurrently, which must be served within the next 12 months.

"Part of my thinking is that the injured party has been repaid but I’m also bearing in mind that if I send him to jail, I doubt the debt he has to the person who gave him the money, would be repaid. 

"So this sentence meets the interests of justice in a balanced way,” the judge  said.

Ms Silke then entered a nolle for the remaining 16 charges.

The initial sentence hearing in January was told Glennon had gone public, using the media to talk about his gambling addictions and was  now an active campaigner, giving public talks about his experiences as a gambler and his road to recovery.

Det. Sgt. John McElroy told the court in January Glennon had started as a store man with the wine distribution company in 2010 and had 

worked his way up to become a salesman. The thefts came to light when he went on holiday and a colleague took over his role.

It soon became apparent that thousands of euro, which Glennon had received from customers on behalf of the company, had been transferred 

into his own bank account and gambled away.

The directors of the company made a complaint to gardai and Glennon admitted his guilt straight away.

He told gardaí he had spent the money in bookie shops, on online  gambling and on virtual racing.

“He’s well-known in GAA circles nationally,” Det. McElroy said at the  time.

Mr Bernard Madden SC, defending, said Glennon went to Cuain Mhuire for  treatment in July 2015 and he now had insight into his offending 

behaviour.

Ms Aoife Kenny, a director of J&C Kenny Wine Distributors, read a  brief impact statement into evidence in January.

In it, she stated, the amount of money stolen by Glennon almost caused her family business to close. She said his actions had a serious 

impact on her life and on the lives of her family and the families of  the other 32 people employed by the company.

She said his actions were a huge betrayal to a group of people who had believed in him and had supported him through his previous struggles 

with addiction and who had offered him a second chance.

She said the company would be struggling for many years to come, to  repair the damage he had caused, both personally and professionally.

Glennon issued a statement to the media following his sentence,  thanking everyone who had helped him in his recovery.

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