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Student stole € 7,000 from employer to pay for studies, court finds

A college student who stole nearly € 7,000 from his newsagent’s employer to help pay for his master’s course in dispute resolution received 120 hours of community service.

Eoram Dobnam De Lima (26) regularly canceled transactions while working at the cash desk in a Centra store, before taking that amount in cash at the end of his shift.

De Lima, with an address in Newport Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft of Centra property in Charlemont Street between November 1, 2019 and January 15, 2020. He has no previous convictions.

He stole a total of € 6,936 in cash out of 742 canceled transactions, the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court said.

“Extremely remorseful”

At a previous sentencing hearing in March 2021, defense Gerardine Small BL said De Lima was extremely remorseful and wanted to refund the money, but her passport was handed over as part of his bail conditions and he cannot renew his work visa.

Ms Small agreed with Judge Melanie Greally that De Lima is still studying and still funding her Masters course. She said her client is currently receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

“It might have been better to make amends for the loss of Robert O’Leary than to fund his education,” Justice Greally said.

“He may not be able to reap the benefits of this education as a result of this offense. “

The judge adjourned the case to obtain a number of reports and to save De Lima money in restitution for Mr. O’Leary.

“The breach of trust is very important,” said Justice Greally.

“Mr De Lima is going to have to do his best on all fronts if he is to avoid an element of custody next time.”

Canceled transactions

Ms Small confirmed on Wednesday that her client has fully reimbursed the injured party.

The judge said that given the fact that De Lima had reimbursed her former employer and engaged in restorative justice, she would moderate the number of community service hours she imposed so that it did not interfere unduly with his studies and professional commitments. .

Judge Greally ordered De Lima to perform 120 hours of community service instead of 18 months in jail.

At the previous sentencing hearing, Garda Tao Yu told Prosecutor Derek Cooney BL that store owner Robert O’Leary had been alerted to certain irregularities in canceled transactions by a security system from checkout.

He and the store manager investigated the time of the transactions and compared them to CCTV footage, where De Lima could be seen making the canceled transactions and taking note of them.

The court heard that De Lima would total the amounts of the canceled transactions at the end of the day before withdrawing that amount in cash from the till.

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In front of his managers, De Lima immediately confessed to having taken the money. He also admitted to taking money from the store in September 2019, but the CCTV footage didn’t go that far back so there was no evidence available, the court said.

Ms Small said De Lima was originally from Brazil but had lived and studied in Ireland for three to four years.

“He used the money to pay for the tuition,” Ms. Small said.

“He’s doing a master’s degree in dispute resolution. “