A POSTAL worker opened an envelope and stole a €20 donation to a religious order because he was "strapped for cash", a court heard.
Anthony Connaughton (42) took the money that was being sent to a Franciscan friary in a "gross breach" of trust.
Judge Bryan Smyth told him to take part in a Restorative Justice Programme and adjourned the case. Connaughton, of Cromcastle Court, Coolock, pleaded guilty to stealing an envelope containing €20 at An Post, White Heather Industrial Estate, South Circular Road on August 27.
The court heard the defendant's marriage had ended at the time, he had a lot of outgoings and was "strapped for cash". His lawyer pointed out that the sum involved was €20.
"He only discovered that when he opened the envelope," Judge Smyth said. "It is a serious breach of trust, and of the integrity of the postal system for all of us."
The court heard the defendant had now been let go from his job. He had no previous convictions and had a good work record.
Connaughton's lawyer asked Judge Smyth to give the defendant credit for his guilty plea and leave him without a criminal record.
Judge Smyth said it would take "more than a contribution to charity" and suggested he could do some voluntary work at the Franciscan Friary.