A FORMER garda faces up to 10 years in prison for stealing thousands of euro from an 82-year-old woman and his colleagues in a Dublin station.
David Foran (29) was nearly half a million euro in debt.
Foran took money from the elderly woman after responding to a burglary at her home and finding she had nearly €2,000 in her bedroom.
He also collected money from colleagues to organise events which he used to pay his debts.
After hearing the evidence, Judge Yvonne Murphy adjourned that matter until January but warned she is "making no promises".
She ordered a probation and psychiatric report be prepared on Foran and remanded him on continuing bail.
Foran, of Kinsale, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to the theft of €1,950 from the woman in Phibsboro and further pleaded to four counts of stealing money collected from his colleagues and one count of using a false instrument at Jurys Hotel, Limerick.
Detective Inspector Francis Sweeney told prosecutor Michael Bowman that Foran responded to a burglary at the home of the elderly woman.
Burglars had broken into the sheltered housing where she lived but left without taking anything. When Garda Foran arrived with a colleague, the woman showed them where she kept her money.
The woman left for Cork the next day for a week during which time Foran returned. He gained access by claiming he was continuing his investigation and took the money.
When she discovered the money was missing, the woman phoned gardai. The investigating garda passed the case to Garda Foran who said he would "take care of it". However he never contacted the woman.
The court heard how Foran organised events for his colleagues including a Christmas party. He collected €13,030 but used this to pay his debts.
Defence counsel, Ronan Munro, said Foran made full admissions. He told gardai he owed nearly half a million including a €370,000 mortgage and various debts to credit unions and tradesmen.
He said his father-in-law had told him at one point to "go away and kill himself" and he later attempted suicide.
Counsel said his marriage broke down in June 2010 and his home has been repossessed.
He has since received treatment for depression.
Foran wept throughout the hearing.
In a letter of apology he stated: "I will forever regret disgracing my unit and I'm forever sorry."