Postmaster fined €10k for stealing €12,200 from two customers
A village postmaster has been fined €10,000 for stealing his customers' savings.
Donegal District Court heard that Rory Brodbin stole a total of €12,200 from two customers at Laghey Post Office.
He pleaded guilty to the thefts. Garda Paddy Battle, who arrested 44-year-old Brodbin of Main St, Laghey, said he was unable to tell the court what he did with the money.
The garda said Brodbin lived a "humble existence" and he didn't believe the money was used for gambling or on alcohol.
He didn't drive a car and was recently married. He was postmaster for 12 years and he was a good addition to the community, being helpful to people with their documents.
Garda Battle added he believed that while Brodbin was taking the money he intended paying it back at some stage. It was eventually repaid with interest.
Brodbin now lives away from the community and has moved to Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
Defence solicitor Kieran Dillon said Brodbin took over the post office when his aunt retired. The business was "a generational thing" and he had now lost it.
He had €5,000 in court for charity as a gesture of his remorse.
Judge Kevin Kilrane said Brodbin was in a position of trust as the local postmaster when ordinary people called to him with their money.
The judge added: "We still don't know what happened the money.
"That could attract a lengthy prison sentence but a mitigating factor was that the defendant was confused in the running of his business. He was robbing Peter to pay Paul and hoping everything would work out in the end."
The judge imposed €2,000 on each of five theft charges between October 19, 2010 and January 27, 2012. Two charges of failing to manage the accounts of customers were taken into consideration.