Student mum stole €1,300 from hospital patient
JUDGE: Pay compensation or face prison
A BUSINESS student who stole €1,300 from her boyfriend's sister's bank account while she was a patient in a hospital has claimed she was coerced into taking the money.
Charlene Murphy (19) claimed neither she, nor her family, had been in trouble before, and that she was made to take the money by another person.
A judge ordered Murphy to pay compensation to the victim and adjourned the matter for six weeks.
Judge Patrick McMahon said Murphy should have a "fair amount" of compensation in court or she will face a prison sentence.
Gardai told Blanchardstown District Court that the victim, who is on social welfare, has not been compensated by her bank, as Murphy had managed to get her PIN number.
Murphy, of Drumcliffe Drive in Cabra, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to four counts of theft.
The thefts all took place over a 24-hour period on December 22 and December 23, 2008.
Murphy took out €100 from the ATM in Centra on Manor Street, then €500 from Bank of Ireland in Stoneybatter, another €100 from the same ATM, and finally €600 from the AIB ATM on Prussia Street.
Garda David Duffy said Murphy was captured on CCTV at each location taking the money.
Garda Duffy said the victim was known to Murphy and is her boyfriend's sister.
The garda said Murphy had maintained that she was given the Laser card by another individual and was made to take the money. However, the garda said Murphy was the only person captured on the CCTV footage at the banks. Defence lawyer Diarmuid Collins said Murphy is a young woman of good character who has never been in trouble before.
She completed her Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate and has just finished the first year of a three-year business studies course in Blanchardstown Institute of Technology.
Mr Collins said Murphy has a four-month-old child who is looked after by her mother and grandmother while she is in college.
He said she was willing to compensate the victim, but it was not easy for her to work and earn money as her relatives already look after her child while she was at college.
Judge McMahon said Murphy "better make some effort" to repay the money or she faces going to jail.