herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Shop worker spent €54k on cannabis, taxis and take-aways

Kavanagh spent the money on taxis, take-aways and cannabis
Kavanagh spent the money on taxis, take-aways and cannabis

A man who stole almost €54,000 in fake Lotto wins from the shop that employed him has been jailed for 18 months.

Paul Kavanagh (25) spent the money on take-aways, taxis and cannabis, a court was told.

Judge Melanie Greally previously agreed to adjourn the case at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to allow him to repay €1,000 a week to the owner of the Londis shop.

He also agreed to pay over €3,600 he had saved up.

However, he was unable to follow through on his intention to repay the stolen money in full because he lost his last job in security as a result of the publicity around this case.

Tom Neville, defending, said his client had nothing to show for the money, some of which was used to pay for his cannabis habit.

Kavanagh, of Belgard Square, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to theft from Ray Sheehan, the owner of the Londis Store in Park Gate Street between 2014 and 2015.

Marie Torrens, prosecuting, said Kavanagh, a father of two, began working in the shop in 2014 and started having money troubles.

Broken

She said he would process lottery wins through the system and pocket the money.

The thefts came to light when the owner noticed three €150 lottery payouts on a day when the Lottery machine was broken.

Kavanagh was arrested and told gardai that he was experiencing personal and family problems and he thought he could take the money without anyone noticing.

Judge Greally said that repayment would have formed a significant mitigating factor. She said that other mitigating factors were Kavanagh's considerable remorse, his lack of previous convictions, and his early plea of guilty.

She also noted that Kavanagh was at a low risk of re-offending and had shown considerable insight into the effects of his crimes. She said very few businesses could absorb a loss of such an amount.

She noted that Kavanagh had a good work history and had found himself in very challenging personal circumstances.

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