A FORMER employee of a restaurant in Castletroy who stole more than €12,500 from her former employer has been told she will avoid a conviction if she makes a sizeable donation to charity.
Earlier this year, law graduate Rebecca Corbett, aged 30, of Hillside, Ferndale pleaded guilty to stealing the cash from Delish restaurant on dates between February 5, 2014 and April 30, 2014.
Limerick District Court was told the defendant, who has no previous convictions, was observed on CCTV committing the offences and that she made admissions when she was arrested by investigating gardai.
In mitigation, solicitor John Herbert said his client emigrated to Australia in 2011 after she graduated and was enjoying a successful career.
However, she returned home in September 2012 when her mother became unwell after a family relative died.
During a sentencing hearing, he said Ms Corbett’s mother had accrued large debts and that his client secured employment at the restaurant as she had worked there previously before emigrating and was friendly with the owners.
Judge Marian O’Leary was told the defendant subsequently began “pilfering money” from the cash register at the restaurant in an attempt to get money to clear her mother’s debts.
“It was insignificant amounts at the beginning but increased in size and in frequency,” said Mr Herbert, who said his client’s sister was also in financial difficulty around the same time.
The court was told that since committing the offences, Ms Corbett has “sold almost everything she has” and that she has been saving €50 per week from her social welfare in the hope of paying back the money.
During a review of the case last week, Mr Herbert said his client had raised full compensation and he presented two cheques to the court which were made out to the injured party.
Noting that Ms Corbett had not stolen the money for personal gain and that she has repaid the full amount, Judge O’Leary adjourned the matter to May 18, next.
The judge indicated if €1,000 is paid to the court poor box by that date she will “strike out” the charge – leaving Ms Corbett without a criminal record.