Friday 24 November 2017

'Respected and trusted' banker stole €127,000 from customers to feed gambling addiction

Owen Travers said the shame he felt was unbearable
Owen Travers said the shame he felt was unbearable

Isabel Hayes and Fiona Ferguson

A “respected and trusted” assistant bank manager who stole €127,000 from vulnerable customers and friends has been given a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence.

Owen Travers (61) pleaded guilty to 15 counts of theft from seven customers over a number of years. Speaking at his sentence hearing last May at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court , Travers said he wanted to convey his “deepest apologies” to all those affected by his actions.

“The shame I’ve brought on myself and my family is unbearable,” he said.

The court heard Travers, an assistant manager at AIB in Clondalkin between 2006 and 2012, stole money ranging in amounts from €200 to €25,000.

All of the victims were customers with whom he had a personal relationship, said prosecution barrister Pieter Le Vert.

Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain accepted that all the money has been repaid and Travers has sought help for a gambling addiction and alcoholism.

“When the house of cards came tumbling down, you admitted yourself to John of Gods,” the judge said before adding that Travers appeared to have gained insight into his behaviour.

Judge Ni Chulachain suspended the sentence on strict conditions including that Travers keep the peace and be of good behaviour for five years.

The court heard at the sentence hearing in May that Travers’ actions came to light in February 2012 after one of his victims noticed a significant amount of money missing from her elderly mother’s account.

Nearly €25,000 had been taken in unauthorised transactions between July 2010 and January 2012.

The woman then noticed that €10,000 was missing from her own company’s account.

Travers, of Glen Easton Square, Leixlip, Co Kildare, told gardai he was suicidal at the time and “driving around hoping for a pole to crash into”, the court heard.

Ronan Kennedy, defending, said Travers was a man who was “held in high esteem by his employers, customers and the wider community”.

“This has been a very significant fall from grace,” he said.


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