A 'tiger' kidnapping victim, whose past theft from his employer only came to light when the bank conducted an audit after the incident, has been remanded on bail pending sentence.
Glen Walsh (aged 27) stole almost €500,000 from AIB in Crumlin Cross over a period of six months by handing out cash to his co-accused, David Vickery (aged 27), who then used the money to place bets.
The pair would then use the winnings to reimburse the bank, but after bets were lost during the 2010 World Cup there was an ultimate shortfall of €40,000.
A third man took over Vickery’s role of placing bets with the stolen cash in April 2010, but this man was never prosecuted.
Detective Garda Michael McGrath said that Walsh and another colleague were the victims of a tiger kidnapping in June 2010.
A gun was put to the other man’s head while Walsh was forced to go to the bank in Crumlin and take out €210,000.
The men were shown pictures of their respective families and serious threats were made against them.
The AIB was shut down that day because of the raid and an immediate audit was carried out which led to the discovery of Walsh’s theft.
The court heard that Walsh had a cheque for €20,000 to reimburse the bank the day of the tiger raid but he couldn’t lodge this as the bank was shut down. He has since re-paid the full €40,000.
Det Gda McGrath agreed with Patrick McGrath SC, defending that gardaí are completely satisfied that Walsh had “no hand, act or part” in the tiger kidnapping.
Walsh of Kilakee Grove, Firhouse, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft of €40,000 from AIB Crumlin Cross West between January 1 and June 2010. He has no previous convictions.
Vickery of Sycamore Drive, Kingswood Heights, Tallaght pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing €10,000 in stolen money at Boylesports, Terenure on January 15, 2010 and Paddy Power, Belgard Road on April 6, 2010. He has a minor conviction for a road traffic offence.
Det Gda McGrath told Michael O’Higgins SC, prosecuting, that Walsh was a teller at the AIB in Crumlin when the audit revealed inconsistencies in lodgements through both paper and internet transactions.
The gardaí were contacted and both men later made full admissions.
Vickery said he made a profit of about €5,000 by the time his involvement came to an end in April 2010. He said at that stage there was no shortfall and the bank had been fully paid back.
Walsh left for Australia shortly after his interview and was brought back this June on an extradition warrant which he didn’t contest. He was remanded again on bail and has since complied with the conditions of that.
Det Gda McGrath agreed with Jonathan Kilfeather SC, defending Vickery, that he has expressed genuine remorse for his involvement, comes from a decent family and is unlikely to come before the courts again.
Det Gda McGrath outlined some of the bets placed by Vickery which included a treble bet on two rugby games and a soccer match leading to winnings of €28,000, a double bet on soccer matches that led to winnings of €48,000 and a another successful bet of €34,000.
Det Gda McGrath agreed with Mr McGrath that Walsh had developed a serious gambling addiction at the time and that the tiger kidnapping was a frightening experience for him.
He accepted that he has expressed genuine remorse, has learnt his lesson “100 percent%” and is unlikely to re-offend.
Mr McGrath told Judge Ryan that his client is currently assisting in his local community with meals on wheels and coaching football. He also helps his parents in caring for a younger sibling who has a disability.
Mr Kilfeather said Vickery was a gifted soccer player, playing with under-21s Shamrock Rovers and also Bushy Park Rangers. He and Walsh had been friends from the age of 12 through their mutual interest in football.
Vickery also had a gambling addiction at the time but has since rehabilitated by attending Gamblers Anonymous.
Judge Patricia Ryan remanded both Walsh and Vickery on continuing bail and adjourned sentencing to February 23, next.