A shopkeeper made a false report of a robbery to gardai, as he could not tell his wife that €3,000 that was missing from the safe had been taken by money lenders, Dundalk district court was told last week.
Martin Fee (45) with an address at Knockbridge, Dundalk pleaded guilty to committing the offence at Greengates, Haggardstown, Dundalk on the 24th of August last year.
Garda Inspector Martin Beggy told the court last Wednesday that the accused had called the gardai on the date in question saying had just been robbed. He claimed he had been going home after locking up the convenience store when he stopped to assist two men on a motorbike. He said the defendant claimed he had been over powered and was brought back to the premises at knife point where he was robbed. However, the court heard that CCTV footage did not tally with that account and the incident “did not occur at all”. The Defence solicitor explained that her client had to repay €3,000 and was under severe financial stress and “clearly wasn’t thinking straight”.
She said the money lenders took the money from the safe and the motivation in making the false garda report “was not financial” but rather was because he could not explain to his wife how he had paid €3,000 to money lenders.
The court heard he was very embarrassed to be in court. It was also told the business closed in January and the accused is €50,000 in debt to one supplier and is also in debt to the Revenue Commissioners. Judge Flann Brennan put back the case to the nineth of January so a Probation report could be prepared.