A WOMAN who stole more than €100,000 from the Supervalu where she worked as a manager has been given a three-year suspended sentence.
Celine Brennan (43) later told gardai that her son had got into "a bit of trouble" which she only noticed after a psychic told her to "keep a close eye" on him.
She claimed she had been approached by a man on her way to work who demanded that she hand over a certain amount of money because of her son's troubles.
She stole the cash from her employer and gave that to the man, along with some of her own money.
Brennan, of Coney Hall, Mornington, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of stealing from Supervalu Donabate on dates between November 1 and December 31, 2010.
She had reimbursed Supervalu €23,000 before she was arrested in April 2011 and had a further €7,070 which she had saved over 101 weeks from her social welfare payments.
At her sentence hearing last November, defence counsel Cathal McGreal BL said Brennan, her parents and siblings are willing to come together to pay €800 a month until Supervalu is fully compensated for the thefts, which is estimated will take eight years.
He said she had not worked since her arrest and her home was to be repossessed.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring said Brennan's theft represented "a significant breach of trust" in times when businesses large and small are struggling to keep premises open and people in jobs.
Yesterday, Mr McGreal said €3,200 had been gathered by the family and was available to the court. He said Brennan has a job offer but had not been well enough to take it up so far.
Judge Ring imposed a three-year suspended sentence on condition that Brennan continues paying €800 per month.
Gda Adrian Gates told Colm O'Briain BL, prosecuting, that Brennan had responsibility for payroll and the cash office at the time of the offences.
It was discovered that €106,638 was missing when an audit was carried out.
Gda Gates said Brennan had filled out bogus lodgement forms claiming she had lodged some of the takings in the bank.
There was also a small amount taken in the form of gift vouchers.
The owner of Supervalu received a call from Brennan's solicitor and he was told she was admitting culpability.
Gardai were alerted and Brennan was arrested in August 2011.
Brennan agreed that she had taken the money, but said she did not know exactly how much she had stolen or when she had taken it.
Mr McGreal said his client had written a "lengthy" letter to the court outlining her reasons for stealing the money. This letter was not read out in court.
He said the incident had been "unprecedented" in his client's life and is not something she will be getting herself into again.