Civil servant stole €35k in court fines

A civil servant who, while working as an administrative officer with the court service, embezzled over €35,000 that was to be paid against fines, has been sentenced to a year in prison.

Civil servant stole €35k in court fines

Jonathan Gilmore, aged 42, stole cash paid by people to offset fines issued against them. He would then use cash from a later fine to pay off the original fine.

Gilmore, of Rowman House, Mespil Rd, came forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on signed pleas of guilty from the District Court in relation to 50 charges of theft on dates from September 6, 2010, to August 20, 2012.

He has no previous convictions and has since paid back all the money he had stolen.

The separated father of two had been working as a higher executive officer at the time of his arrest but has been dismissed. He had both gambling and significant personal debts at the time.

Garda Colin Davidson told James Dwyer, defending, that Gilmore was the most co-operative person he has ever dealt with in his career.

He accepted he effectively “built the case against himself” bringing his 21-year career as a civil servant to an end.

He agreed with counsel that Gilmore effectively “pocketed” fines paid to him and when someone came in weeks later to pay another fine, he would use this cash against the first fine, “thereby extending his line of credit”.

Mr Dwyer said it came to a point when that “line of credit extended”, people had penal warrants issued against them and the thefts came to light.

“He could not continue with this Peter to pay Paul because there were far too many Pauls,” counsel said. “Things started to get out of control and he couldn’t get a handle on it.”

Garda Davidson agreed with Mr Dwyer that Gilmore told gardaí when he first met them that “I knew this day was coming”.

“I have not slept for the last six months. You would go to bed thinking of it and wake up thinking of it,” he said in interview. “I am very sorry to the people who it affected and my colleagues, I will take what’s coming,” Gilmore told officers.

Judge Martin Nolan said he was imposing a custodial sentence because Gilmore had betrayed a position of trust where he was taking monies on behalf of the State.

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