Woman avoids jail for €20k theft from firm
A credit controller who stole over €20,000 from her employer because she was "overwhelmed" by her domestic financial situation has avoided a jail term.
Jacinta Dixon (52), a mother of two, of The Oaks, Keatingstown, in Wicklow, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal to five sample charges of theft from Chadwicks in Sallynoggin on dates between February 1, 2013 and November 5, 2013. She has one previous conviction for speeding.
A total of €20,554 was stolen over that period and Dixon has since re-paid it having secured a loan to do so.
Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Dixon to three years in prison, which he suspended in full on strict conditions as he said it would be "unjust" to jail her. He said she had decided to improve her situation by stealing small amounts of money from her employer over an extended period of time.
Judge Nolan accepted that Dixon had expressed remorse but said she had breached the trust of her employer who was entitled to rely on her for honesty.
Dixon had been working with Chadwicks in Sallynoggin for 19 years when it was noticed that there was a recurring delay in each day's takings being lodged at the end of business.
It was Dixon's responsibility, as credit controller for that branch, to hand over the day's taking to security workers at Brinks for lodgement.
Garda Josephine Holahan told Roisin Lacey BL, prosecuting, that when Dixon was questioned about the delay she initially claimed it was a problem with the Brinks collector and reassured Chadwicks' head office that the issue would be resolved.
Two months later, when the problem had not been rectified, enquiries were again made with Dixon and she admitted that she had been stealing money from the takings.
She was deliberately delaying lodging each day's takings to allow her to pocket small amounts of cash herself.
The following day she would use the cash taken in that day to make up the difference from the previous day.
Dixon later told gardai that she would take a few hundred euro each time to allow her to pay outstanding domestic bills.
She said she had asked her boss at Chadwicks for a loan two-and-a-half years previous to her arrest, as she wasn't coping financially, but her request was refused.
Mr Kelly said his client was under "immense personal and financial pressure" and had become "overwhelmed by her ordinary domestic financial situation".