At Ennis Circuit Court, Det Garda Paul Coleman of Shannon Garda Station said that in Dec 2010, a postman’s post bag was robbed. It contained a cheque for €6,966 made out to Ennis woman Eida Durack Reynolds.
Det Coleman said that the money was Ms Durack Reynolds’ net share from her mother’s inheritance.
In the case, 21-year-old mother-of-one, Amy Treacy, of Inis Eagla, Shannon, pleaded guilty to deception in lodging Ms Durack Reynolds’ cheque to her own bank account at a bank branch in Shannon.
Counsel for the State, Michael Collins BL, said that the robbery of the post bag was part of a spate of similar thefts in the Limerick, Tipperary and Clare areas at the time.
Det Coleman said: “There was an organised element to this theft and there were a significant number of similar robberies at the time.”
Det Coleman said that the robbery required others to launder the money.
He said: “It is a lucky dip. What you harvest from that dip, you have to process. If the cheque is made out to a female, you have to have a female bank account so you have to have a network of people to launder the cheques.”
Det Coleman said that Ms Durack Reynolds felt very hard done by and the robbery has had a serious effect on her. “It was not so much the monetary aspect but the fact that it was part of the proceeds of her mother’s estate,” he said.
Det Coleman said An Post has no liability in the case and Ms Durack Ryenolds is still at a loss of the inheritance. However, in court, Ms Treacy provided a cheque for the full amount to be payable to Ms Durack Reynolds.
Det Coleman said that he accepted that Ms Treacy had no role in the robbery itself.
Counsel for Ms Treacy, Patrick Whyms BL, said she comes from a dysfunctional family, was put into care for a period at a young age, and is susceptible to pressure from others.
Mr Whyms said that Ms Treacy had no previous convictions and asked that Judge Moran impose the Probation Act.
Judge Carroll Moran said: “It is a very serious matter. Ms Treacy engaged in a very serious act of dishonesty.”
However, Judge Moran said that he would impose the Probation Act taking into account Ms Treacy’s otherwise good character and the fact that she had paid the money back to the victim.