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Woman who spent €25,000 of bank's cash avoids jail

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Margaret McDonnell Picture: Courtpix

Margaret McDonnell Picture: Courtpix

Margaret McDonnell Picture: Courtpix

A single mother who went on a "massive spending spree" after a bank accidentally deposited €51,000 into her bank account has received a suspended jail sentence.

Margaret McDonnell (23) spent €25,000 on items for her two children, including clothes and shoes, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

For two weeks, McDonnell ate out every night, took her friends and family out for dinner and bought gifts including two crystal vases and a "crystal mushroom lamp".

Referring to the money lodged in McDonnell's account, Judge Cormac Quinn said: "If it's too good to be true, it is because it is too good to be true."

McDonnell, of Rathvilly Park, Finglas, Dublin, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of theft of cash from Bank of Ireland on dates between March 7 and 16, 2013. Last January, Judge Quinn adjourned the case to give time to the Probation Service to assess McDonnell's suitability for community service.

He suspended a sentence of 18 months on condition she pay €1,000 back to the bank within 18 months. He also ordered her to carry out 150 hours of community service.

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