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Sunday 22 October 2017

'Stern lesson' for man who took €20,000 from employer

A 54-YEAR-OLD man who misappropriated in excess of €20,000 of his employer's money has had sentence in the case adjourned.

David Coughlan, of 23 Rheban Manor, Athy, and formerly of 80 The Willows, Carlow, had pleaded guilty to six counts regarding theft from his employer - Enniscorthy based Air-Con Engineering Ltd - between April 7, 2004, and July 21, 2005. At the time he was employed in sales and support by the company.

Defence Counsel James Browne told the court that the matter had been in for sentence last October but the defendant was given an opportunity to have €10,000 in court. He had pleaded guilty to the theft of some €20,000 from the his employer on six separate counts.

Mr. Browne said that on the previous occasion in October the defendant stated that he had started his own business but that had failed. He is now on unemployment benefit. He has €2,500 in court to give to his solicitor Julie Breen.

'I am asking the court for some additional time. There was €20,910 involved in total,' said Mr. Browne.

Prosecuting Counsel Philip Sheahan said the offences occurred between 2004 and 2005. There was six matters on the inditement with the injured party Air-Con Engineering having lost a little over €20,000. On July 3, 2012 the defendant was arraigned and pleaded guilty. A Probation and Welfare report was directed and the case was adjourned to October 2012. On November 6, 2012, he was listed for sentencing and granted an adjournment for twelve months on condition that he have €10,000 available to the court.

Mr. Sheahan also told the court that in July 2013 the case was again listed but was adjourned, as the defendant's counsel said his client had taken ill.

Mr. Browne said the defendant made a full and frank admission on his arrest. Gambling was the real source of his problem. He is a married man with three children and as a result of this he had lost the family home. He is asking for time and would set up a standing order for €175 per week.

When Judge Hickson asked how the family was going to live, Mr. Browne said the wife was working and earning around €400 per week.

Having read the various reports Judge Hickson remarked that it seemed as if the defendant had learned a stern lesson, while Mr. Browne said it was a sobering experience for him.

Judge Hickson said he is a lucky man to have a wife at home to support him. He has hurt his wife and family more than anyone else.

He said he would adjourn the matter for twelve months on condition that a standing order for €175 is set up. 'If he continues to make the payments I will impose a suspended sentence. His wife and children have suffered enought,' said Judge Hickson.

Wexford People

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