A former Prosperous postmaster who took more than €91,000 from the accounts of An Post customers, including €50,000 from his mother, appeared at Naas District Court on December 16 to face entirely separate allegations.
Naas Circuit Court heard over two months ago that Conor Armstrong, 43, of Main Street, Prosperous, Co Kildare, was pleading guilty to nine sample counts of theft of amounts ranging from €1,000 to €12,400 on dates between December 2013 and November 2015. Armstrong, who had taken over as postmaster of the post office in Prosperous from his late mother, Mary, in 2012, stole €91,534 in total from about 10 different An Post accounts.
The money was used to feed a cocaine habit.
At a sentencing hearing the court heard the entire amount of stolen money had been repaid from the proceeds of the estate of Armstrong’s mother.
The court was told the offences only came to light after a customer, Ellen Price became suspicious when Armstrong asked her if she intended taking out “a wad of cash for Christmas” in November 2015 after he informed her there had been a minor error in the account.
The court heard Ms Price subsequently discovered that a sum of €3,000 had been taken from the account after she had sought information from the An Post branch in Clane.
Following his arrest, Armstrong told gardaí that he was deeply ashamed at having “destroyed” his mother and losing the business that had been in his family since the 1920s.
The court also heard his motive for taking the money was to feed his cocaine habit, on which he was spending up to €3,500 per week. It was pointed out that he had already repaid more than €83,700 by the time he was arrested by gardaí.
He received a six months prison term.
The defendant appeared in court on December 16 to face allegations of failing to stop, failing to report an accident, failing to remain at the scene and failing to give appropriate information.
Sgt Jim Kelly said the allegations related to a “hit and run” road accident on May 31 at Emerson Way, Prosperous.
He said it would be alleged the defendant reversed into a vehicle.
Defending solicitor Cairbre Finan told the court the defendant was currently in custody.
It was adjourned to January 6.