Judge Leo Malone said that for a pensioner hiding his savings in the attic of his home to have it stolen in this way was a mean and nasty type of offence.
Defence solicitor Eddie Burke said that, against that, the accused was 67 years old, had never been in trouble before, had paid back the stolen money in full, and had only given in to the temptation to take the money because a relative was in need of financial support.
Joseph Russell, of 18 Glandore Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork, pleaded guilty yesterday to the theft of €7,000 from the house in Bishopstown.
Inspector Bill Duane said the injured party hid €18,000 in savings in the attic of his home in January 2014. He did not check it in the hiding place until Christmas Eve 2014 and he discovered €7,000 was missing.
The cash took the form of seven bundles of €50 notes.
The injured party called to Bishopstown Garda Station and made a complaint to Garda Brian White that the money was missing.
It turned out that the only stranger in the house during the year was Mr Russell. He had done a plumbing job that required going to the attic in July 2014 and the owner asked him to come back to do another job in November.
Garda White called to the home of the accused and asked him about the matter. Mr Russell immediately admitted taking the money.
Mr Burke, solicitor, said there was “full co-operation” with the gardaí and that the accused had repaid the €7,000 in full. The accused gave the money he took from the attic to a relative. Mr Burke said the gardaí followed up on this aspect of the case and were satisfied that the relative knew nothing about the source of the cash.
Judge Malone put penalty back for two months for a probation report.