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Man avoids jail despite claiming €47k from dead aunt's pension




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A MAN who stole almost €47,000 from the State by claiming his dead aunt's pension has avoided a jail term because he “informed on himself” and paid back all the money.

David Manning (45) of Brighton Terrace, Monkstown, Dun Laoghaire pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 16 charges of theft of various cash sums from Blackrock Post Office, which were the property of both the Social Welfare and the Department of Social Protection, on dates between February 2010 and August 2013.

The charges reflect 115 sample counts and totalled a loss to the State of €46,691.

Garda Orla Meehan told Kerida Naidoo BL, prosecuting, that Manning’s aunt, Mary Hegarty, died in February 2010. He had been her full-time carer until her death.

Manning contacted an inspector in Social Welfare on October 29, 2013 and told him that he had been collecting the women’s pension for the previous three years.

Gardaí then obtained CCTV footage from Blackrock Post Office to confirm this was the case.

Manning was arrested and made full admissions telling gardaí in interview that he had not worked for a number of years as he suffered with chronic depression and had other medical issues.

He claimed he had been in desperate financial circumstances and had used the money to pay for his aunt’s funeral, medical bills and costs arising from her stay in a nursing home. He also had to pay a neighbour for repairs to a roof they shared with Ms Hegarty.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Manning to three years in prison which he suspended in full.

He said the man had “a crisis of conscience” and “woke up the wrongness of what he was doing”.

Judge Nolan acknowledged that crimes such as this usually warranted a custodial sentence but said because Manning “informed on himself” and paid back all the money, “this is a very unusual once off case”.

Online Editors