| 11.7°C Dublin

Debt-hit cashier took €13k from till

A WH SMITH cashier at Dublin Airport who repeatedly pocketed money from the till because she was under financial pressure has avoided jail.

Dolores Connole (41) stole more than €1,300 because she had a credit union loan and a car that had broken down.

She had also had her lone-parent allowance mistakenly cut off at the time.

Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court ordered her to carry out 180 hours' community service.

Connole, of St Oliver's Park, Ratoath, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of theft from WH Smith at Dublin Airport Terminal 2 in June and July 2011.

Garda Christopher Elliott said Connole had been caught on CCTV taking cash from the till. The total loss to the company was €1,370.

The accused had no previous convictions and had not been in trouble since.

Gardai had been told there would be a guilty plea, which had saved them a "lot of time" in what would have been a lengthy hearing.

Connole had expressed her remorse for what happened, her lawyer said.

She had been employed at the shop since October 2010 and was under considerable financial pressure at the time, her lawyer said.

She was a lone parent of two children, one of whom was in school and the other in college.



She had had an outstanding credit union loan and her car engine had blown, costing €2,000. At the same time, her lone-parent allowance had been wrongly cut off.

She was very short of cash and not sleeping, which was exacerbated by a degenerative back complaint. She had also been on strong painkillers.

"With the anxiety she was under, her sense of reality was somewhat diminished," her lawyer said.

"Looking back, she finds it unbelievable that she could have done such a thing."