Former Naas hardware shop employee who misused €12,475 gets 9 month suspended sentence

Naas Circuit Court

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Ex-employee who misused Naas company money gets suspended sentence

Naas Courthouse

A man who was prosecuted after €12,475 was misappropriated in his workplace appeared at Naas Circuit Court today.

Jonathan Igoe (31) whose address was given as Stickens, Caragh, repaid all of the money to his employer Ted Johnsons, a family owned hardware supply firm on the outskirts of Naas.

He was prosecuted for theft from the hardware firm and false accounting on dates between September 18, 2014 and February 3, 2017 and received a nine month term on each of a total of four counts and these were all suspended by Judge Terence O’Sullivan. The sentences were concurrent.

Det Gda Christine Brady recalled that he worked at the hardware store, which employs over 30 people until he was dismissed as a result of the incident. The defendant was first interviewed by a company representative before a complaint was made to the gardai.

Suspicions were aroused within the company because of the number of dockets which were cancelled by him and some of these were cancelled using the authorisation code of another employee.

Some 150 credit notes were created by the defendant in cases where there was no sale and he also gave staff discounts to customers, though he didn't benefit from these. He also “rounded down” prices though he was not authorised to do so and this was also of no benefit to him, though there was a loss to the company.

Suspicions were also aroused when a customer asked for an invoice.

The defendant, who worked as a sales assistant, admitted wrongdoing after being shown CCTV footage.

His father Liam said the incident devastated the family and went totally against Jonathan’s character. He described the incident as period of madness and “remorse doesn’t describe it.”

He said Jonathan was a model son all his life.

The family had helped him save the money handed in to court and his son is building a house for his family.

Mr. Igoe also said his son had always helped others in the community and was captain of the local soccer team. He also said he was fairly treated by his employer.

Defending barrister Edmund Sweetman said the defendant suffered a “loss of moral compass”. He added it started with a single incident and the drift continued for a time.

The defendant, he said, had been visited with shame.

He added Mr Igoe is employed with familial and financial responsibilities.

He said some of the money raised came from a bequest and the defendant handed it over in a heartfelt way. The total sum involved was €12,475 and a draft for €13,000 was made available in court.

Judge O’Sullivan said the incidents happened over a two and a half years period and involved multiple small transactions. He said the offence carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and the defendant was put in a position of trust which he abused.

He also said the defendant pleaded guilty at an early stage and was cooperative with the gardai which was “of great assistance to the State given the large number of transactions.”

There was evidence from local clubs and organisations that is he is of good character and supports the community without gain for himself.

Judge O'Sullivan noted he had fallen under temptation, had learned a significant lesson and is very remorseful.

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