Former Bank of Ireland employee jailed for one year for theft

Alice Warnock (55) stole €144,089 from Dublin branches between 2004 and 2012

Alice Warnock: pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to nine sample counts of stealing from bank branches on Talbot Street and Malahide Road, Coolock. Photograph:  Collins Courts

Alice Warnock: pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to nine sample counts of stealing from bank branches on Talbot Street and Malahide Road, Coolock. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A former Bank of Ireland employee who stole €144,089 from the bank to put in her own accounts and those of family members has been jailed for a year.

Alice Warnock (55) told gardaí she was sorry and “felt like a fool” after the six-year fraud was uncovered while she was on sick leave in 2012. The court heard that Warnock’s family had been unaware she had lodged money into their accounts.

The mother-of-two, of Rathbeale Court, Swords, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to nine sample counts of stealing from bank branches on Talbot Street and Malahide Road, Coolock, between November 2004 and March 2012. She has no previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally had adjourned the case having heard evidence in March last year.

Not confessed

She said on Monday that Warnock had been in a position of considerable responsibility and noted that she had not confessed to the crime before it was detected.

Judge Greally accepted that “evidence of a psychological upset” in Warnock’s life provided some insight into her actions.

She further accepted she has since made full restitution and was responsible towards her elderly parents.

“She has suffered loss of reputation and the loss of her livelihood,” Judge Greally said before she took into account the fact that the case was heavily reported by the media.

“The offences were not committed in relation to a financial predicament, they were carried out to enhance her lifestyle,” Judge Greally concluded before she imposed a 12-month sentence on the various counts to run concurrently.

Sentence hearing

Detective Garda Siobhan Moore told the sentence hearing last year that Warnock, who had been employed with Bank of Ireland since 1980, took amounts ranging from €600 to €5,000 out of the bank’s internal administration account.

The detective told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Warnock “inputted narratives” to make the transactions appear genuine.

She said the bank began an investigation in May 2012 while Warnock was on sick leave and got details of all her accounts, where misappropriated amounts were seen as lodgements.

Warnock told gardaí the offending had “all got out of hand” and that her family had not been aware of what she was doing.

Full responsibility

Detective Garda Moore said Warnock, who had since been fired, co-operated and took full responsibility.

The detective agreed with Lorcan Staines BL, defending, that she had family support and was a full-time carer for her sick, elderly parents.

She agreed Warnock had €7,000 in court and would undertake to pay €3,500 per quarter to eventually compensate the bank in full.

On Monday, Mr Staines confirmed the bank has now been fully compensated.

Counsel said the family was “downsizing” their home to also help with the repayment.

Mr Staines handed testimonials and documentation to Judge Greally.