A “sneaky” thief who took advantage of a co-worker to steal his €2,000 tax rebate has been given a suspended sentence and a deadline to refund the money or face eight months in jail.
Convicted forger Patrick Quinn, aged 41, who has recently used the surname Masterson, pleaded guilty today to three thefts in 2018 at his former workplace, a south Dublin tool hire firm.
He was jailed for three months for other thefts from the same employer.
Dublin District Court heard that Quinn, formerly of Mountlands, Trim, Co. Meath, but currently of no fixed address, skipped court, moved and started using a different name, delaying the proceedings for four years.
Gardai located him and he pleaded guilty when he appeared before Judge Alan Mitchell today.
Garda Sergeant Finnan Flynn said the accused had been difficult to find, and he understood Quinn was no longer welcome at some of his past addresses.
The court heard Quinn duped a colleague, who trusted him when he agreed to deal with Revenue on his behalf to get a €2,045 tax-back payment.
The victim, a foreign national, had limited English and Quinn got Revenue to send the money to his account.
The court heard that he also stole from work twice by cashing a €510 cheque to a supplier and €540 when he asked for money, claiming it was for the Bike to Work scheme.
The court heard he had 43 prior criminal convictions, primarily for offences under the Theft and Fraud Act.
They included 26 thefts and several charges for using false instruments, which had resulted in jail sentences previously.
Defence solicitor Tony Collier pleaded with the court to allow his client to pay back the money he owed.
He implored Judge Mitchell to defer sentencing until January for his client to pay the first instalment.
The solicitor said Quinn was working and had started using his mother’s maiden name because of past publicity.
However, Judge Mitchell noted that he had four years to come up with the money but did “absolutely nothing”, and gardai had to search for him.
He described his crimes as sneaky, adding that Quinn took advantage of a foreign colleague and breached trust.
He jailed him for three months for the two lesser theft charges. In addition, the judge imposed an eight-month suspended sentence for stealing his former co-worker’s tax payment.
He ordered that the jail sentence be activated if Quinn did not fully repay the amount by July 21.
Mr Quinn, who did not address the court, was granted legal aid.
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