Post office worker caught stealing after sting operation
A post office worker was caught stealing post from a sorting office after gardai and her employer set up a sting operation following an anonymous tip-off.
Carmel Vaughan (46) was caught on CCTV cameras stealing €55 in cash and a €20 One4All voucher.
She resigned from her job following the thefts.
Judge Dermot Dempsey imposed a three-month sentence suspended for two years.
The judge refused to leave Vaughan without a conviction, saying the thefts involved a serious breach of trust.
Vaughan, of Lambay View in Rush, had previously admitted to stealing €55 in cash and a €20 One4All voucher.
The thefts took place at the An Post sorting office in Balbriggan on August 20, 2014.
Sergeant Bob Kavanagh said An Post received an anonymous tip-off alleging theft by a female member of staff.
Swords District Court heard an operation was put in place, involving five identifiable envelopes, which contained small amounts of cash and a gift voucher.
Sgt Kavanagh said Vaughan was identified on CCTV taking the post and leaving the sorting office with the envelopes.
Sgt Kavanagh said there was an investigation by An Post and Vaughan made full admissions.
The court heard Vaughan has never been in trouble before.
Defence solicitor John Hennessy said the mother-of-three had suffered hugely as a result of this "slip".
He said it also had a devastating effect on her family, as the matter had been reported in the media and she had suffered isolation in her community.
Mr Hennessy said Vaughan was "deeply remorseful" and "ashamed of her actions".
The court heard Vaughan had "a severe drink problem" and was suffering from depression at the time.
Mr Hennessy said Vaughan has been completely alcohol free for some time now.
He asked the judge to leave Vaughan without a conviction.
Imposing a suspended sentence, Judge Dempsey ordered Vaughan to continue to attend her GP and to comply with all medical directions.