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Guilty plea Community service for Dublin courier who stole iPhones worth €11K to pay off drug debts

Neil McDonnell was "robbing from Peter to pay Paul," his lawyer said

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Neil McDonnell was ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, court heard

Neil McDonnell was ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, court heard

Neil McDonnell was ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, court heard

A courier who stole an €11,000 iPhone delivery from a warehouse has been spared jail and instead ordered to carry out community service.

Neil McDonnell (52) had gambling and drug debts when he took the box of 13 phones from a loading bay in a crime that had "no sophistication."

Judge David McHugh told him to undertake 240 hours of community service in lieu of a five-month prison sentence.

McDonnell, of Limekiln Road, Greenhills pleaded guilty to theft at Securispeed, Ninth Lock Road, Clondalkin.

Blanchardstown District Court heard compensation had been paid and the probation service found McDonnell suitable for community service.

Judge McHugh made the order.

Previously, the court was told on February 13, 2020, the accused could be seen on CCTV taking a box containing 13 iPhone 11s, with a combined value of €11,202, from a loading bay in the premises.

He placed the box into a van he was driving.

After the theft was reported, McDonnell went to gardaí and made full admissions.

"There was no sophistication to this," the accused's lawyer said.  

McDonnell had worked for a time on cruise ships, when he became addicted to drugs.

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He then worked for a transport company in Ireland but when he left that job he "fell back into his old ways" and ended up with debts.

He was "robbing from Peter to pay Paul," his lawyer said at the time.

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