Tuesday 23 July 2019

Highly-intelligent 'reckless' student avoids conviction over bank transfer of stolen €5,000

Nuschka Babela (19) leaves Dublin District Court after she avoided a conviction. Photo: Collins Courts
Nuschka Babela (19) leaves Dublin District Court after she avoided a conviction. Photo: Collins Courts
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A student whose bank account was used to transfer a stolen €5,000 had been "reckless" when she got involved, a court has heard.

Nuschka Babela (19), who was described as "highly intelligent", was paid €240 after the larger sum was lodged from someone else's illegally accessed account.

Dublin District Court heard the €240 was for college fees.

The rest of the cash was withdrawn and given to an unidentified person and there was a "much larger" Garda investigation into the fraud.

Babela, of St Brigid's Road Lower, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, pleaded guilty to handling stolen property - the €5,000.

Judge Ann Ryan struck the case out, leaving her without a criminal record.

Gda John Niland told the court that €5,000 entered the accused's bank account on July 25 last year.

It was then withdrawn in several transactions at ATMs, with €240 handed over to Babela and the rest of the funds given to an unidentified person. Babela had no previous convictions.

The student's ex-partner had told her he would pay her €240 for college fees, her lawyer said.

She expected that sum to come into her account, but a much larger sum came in and another, unidentified person was the beneficiary of the extra money, the lawyer added.

"She was not aware of what was going on at the time," he said, adding that Babela pleaded guilty because she accepted she was reckless.

The accused found herself in "unfortunate circumstances", Judge Ryan said.

"I think she has realised the error of her ways," she added.

Irish Independent

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