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€7,000 theft Man avoids jail for 'despicable act' of stealing from grandfather's bank account

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Darren Andrews has avoided jail for stealing from his grandfather

Darren Andrews has avoided jail for stealing from his grandfather

Darren Andrews has avoided jail for stealing from his grandfather

A MAN who breached his position of trust in a bank stole €7,000 from his grandfather’s bank account as a result of drug use has avoided a prison sentence after he was deemed suitable for community service work.

Darren Andrews (28) also substituted real bank notes with fake notes and stole money from another customer’s account in what a judge called a “despicable act.”

He stole a total of €8,420 from the two bank accounts while he was employed by Permanent TSB.

The thefts occurred on dates from January 3, 2017 to April 24, 2017 and only came to light when a staff member noticed the discrepancies and the fake notes, Balbriggan District Court heard.

The defendant was an employee at Permanent TSB in Swords, Co Dublin when he made unauthorised withdrawals totalling €7,050 from his grandfather’s bank account over the four month period.

He also withdrew a total of €370 from another customer’s account when the customer made an overpayment.

The defendant also substituted 19 fake €50 notes for 19 real notes, the court heard.

The defendant, of Oaklands in Swords pleaded guilty to 12 counts of thefts on dates between January 3, 2017 and April 24, 2017.

He also pleaded guilty to passing 19 counterfeit notes on April 24, 2017.

All of the money has been paid back and the defendant lost his job at that bank, the court heard.

Defence barrister Annette Kealy said the defendant is “remorseful for his actions.”

“He is a young man with personal problems. He lost his mum when he was young and was under a lot of strain,” Ms Kealy said.

“Unfortunately he succumbed to drugs but he is now drug-free,” Ms Kealy said.

A letter from his grandfather was handed into court and Ms Kealy said his grandfather has forgiven him.

Ms Kealy said the defendant now has a new job in another financial institution,

“He recognises the breach of trust and inappropriate behaviour. He lost his job at Permanent TSB,” Ms Kealy said.

Judge Dermot Dempsey remarked the defendant was in a “serious position of trust and took money from his grandfather’s bank account.

“It’s a despicable act and I don’t care what the circumstances are,” Judge Dempsey said.

The court heard the defendant has reimbursed the money he stole and is remorseful.

After a positive Probation Report was handed into court, Judge Dempsey made an order for the defendant to carry out 240 hours community service work in lieu of three months in prison.

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