Jail for mother who stole from her employer ‘to pay the bills’

57-year-old south Dubliner gets three years in prison for stealing €8,000

A Dublin mother-of-two who stole more than €8,000 from her employer to pay the bills has been sentenced to three years in prison, with the final two years suspended.

Pauline Doyle (57), of Treesdale, Mount Merrion, pleaded guilty to one count of stealing a credit card and three counts of stealing cash from her former employer, AB Mauri Ltd in Stillorgan, on dates in May and June 2011.

Ms Doyle, who worked as a personal assistant at the company, has three previous convictions for forgery and larceny dating back to 2001.

Passing sentence, Judge Mary Ellen Ring said it was a "difficult" case and that Ms Doyle had lost her family, her job, her house and contact with some of her siblings, mostly because of her own actions.


She said Ms Doyle had “taken the easy way out” and that most people with bills to pay do not steal from their employer.She said it was a breach of trust which led to financial loss for the employer, and that the proposal of Ms Doyle taking 15 years to repay the company at €10 per week is “absurd”.

Judge Ring accepted that Ms Doyle was ashamed of her offending behaviour, but said she needs further intervention as she seems to resort to this type of offending in times of stress. A probation report put her at “moderate risk” of re-offending.

Garda Paul Kelly told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that the company had ordered a credit card for an employee based in the UK which was to be delivered to the Stillorgan office. However it failed to arrive. It was found that the €8,597.81 had been used on the card and there were 13 ATM withdrawals in Stillorgan for the maximum daily allowance of €650, with a cash advance fee of €11.37 each time.

After gardai­ obtained the bank statements and viewed CCTV footage at the ATM, they were able to identify Ms Doyle as having made the withdrawals.

She cooperated with gardai and immediately admitted using the credit card.

Gda Kelly said the company is anxious that to get the money back. It had been hoping to freeze a pension she had built up but she withdrew the money.

Gda Kelly agreed with Patrick Reynolds BL, defending, that Ms Doyle was first suspended and then fired. He said Ms Doyle had spent the money on bills and college fees.

As a young woman Ms Doyle emigrated to the UK and raised two daughters alone. She returned to Ireland in 1996 and continued working. Her eldest daughter died tragically in 2001 from a brain haemorrhage, and around this time she forged two cheques leading to her previous convictions.

A psychiatric report said Ms Doyle had “lost everything” and was “suffering from major depression which renders her both helpless and hopeless”.

Mr Reynolds said she had been lodging €10 per week to her solicitors account as repayment. The court heard Ms Doyle has computerised the library system in in prison and is set to give computer lessons to other inmates.