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Dole fraudster jailed after claiming €6,696

A DOLE fraudster who illegally collected nearly €6,700 by impersonating his brother has been jailed for a year.

Crack cocaine addict Desmond Russell (43) defrauded the State over a 32-week period, signing on for his brother who was serving a prison sentence in Mountjoy at the time.

At Dublin District Court, Judge Michael Walsh gave Russell six consecutive three-month sentences, totalling 18 months, but suspended the last six.

He said the accused had been found unsuitable for community service and a probation report on him was "absolutely appalling".

Russell, with an address at Rafter's Road, Drimnagh, pleaded guilty to multiple charges of theft from the Department of Social Protection at Galtymore Road Post Office, Drimnagh, on dates between September 2012 and May 2013.

The total loss to the State was €6,696 and he was now repaying it at €38-a-week.

Defence solicitor Noelle Kenny said the accused was struggling with his addiction and the report on him was "not very positive".

Judge Walsh said the court had "pushed the boat out" for Russell with very little in return. He suspended the six months for a year.

Previously, the court was told the accused had collected payments for his brother legitimately in the past but went on to do this while his brother was in jail.

The judge set bail terms in the event of an appeal.