A shopkeeper who made a false robbery report to gardai as he couldn’t tell his wife that €3,000 that was missing from the safe had been taken by money lenders, was last week told he will be dealt with leniently if he makes a contribution to the Garda Benevolent Fund.
Forty-six year old Martin Fee with an address at Knockbridge, Dundalk pleaded guilty to committing the offence at Greengates, Haggardstown, Dundalk on the 24th of August last year.
The original hearing at Dundalk district court in November was told the accused had called the gardai saying he had just been robbed and claimed that he had been going home after locking up the convenience store, when he stopped to assist two men of a motorbike.
He said he had been over powered and was brought back to the premises at knife point, where he claimed he’d been 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’d paid three thousand euro to money lenders.
The case was put back so a Probation report could be prepared.
Last Wednesday, Judge Flann Brennan said he would like the accused to pay e300 to the Garda Benevolent Fund as he said it was garda time that he wasted.
He adjourned the case until the first of May and added “If he does that I’ll deal with him very leniently”.