A DELIVERY driver stole some 9,000 cigarettes, worth €4,000, from his former employer after he "panicked" on receiving a Sheriff's bill.
Patrick Connors (38) was caught on CCTV cameras after he failed to scan the container of cigarettes when he was loading it onto his truck.
Blanchardstown District Court was told the defendant immediately lost his job due to this matter.
His lawyer said Connors "panicked" when he received a letter from the Sheriff telling him he owed €2,700, and if the bill was not paid immediately that goods would be seized from his home.
Judge David McHugh ordered Connors to complete 200 hours' community service in lieu of four months in prison.
The court heard that Connors has paid compensation for the goods he stole.
The defendant, with an address at Melville Terrace in Finglas, admitted before Blanchardstown court to stealing 9,000 cigarettes, worth €4,000, from Nightline, Jamestown Road in Finglas on November 5, 2014.
Sergeant Mary Doherty said the defendant worked for Nightline at the time and was loading a truck with cigarettes.
Sgt Doherty said Connors failed to scan a container with 9,000 cigarette. Sgt Doherty said the defendant was caught on CCTV cameras.
The court heard that Connors, a father of four, has never been in trouble before. Defence lawyer Ciaran MacLoughlin said Connors "panicked" and took the cigarettes when he received a sheriff's bill for €2,700.
Mr MacLoughlin said the defendant was told if he did not pay the money immediately the sheriff would come to his home and seize goods. He said Connors was very worried about this, and he did something very foolish.
Mr MacLoughlin said that the defendant passed the cigarettes on to a third party to sell them, but tried to get them back when he realised what he had done.
The lawyer said Connors was sorry for his behaviour, and said that the defendant has lost his social circle due to this matter and he is on tablets for anxiety.