Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard a young single mum went on a massive 25 thousand euro spending spree after the cash was mistakenly lodged into her bank account.
Margaret McDonnell (25) from Rathvilly Park in Finglas pleaded guilty to theft but told gardai she feels any young girl on social welfare would have done the same.
The Judge was told in March 2013 a Bank of Ireland customer lodged just over 51 thousand euro into Margaret McDonnell’s account by mistake after the bank gave him the wrong IBAN and BIC number.
Ms McDonnell didn’t question why the money was in her account and went on a high spending almost 25 thousand euro in two weeks.
The single mum of two spent the cash in stores like River Island, New Look and Lifestyle Sports and also bought bed linen and shoes for her children.
She also purchased gifts for her family and friends including two crystal vases and a lamp worth around 12 hundred euro.
She told gardai that she spent the money on everything and anything and she didn’t know how she would pay it back as she’s on social welfare.
Margert McDonell’s barrister said she now looks back at her 21 year old self and questions how she could be so stupid.
But at that time the goose had laid a golden egg and she didn’t know when it was going to stop.
Money had always been tight for her, the court heard, so for the first time in a long while she was able to buy things for her children and she brought her family and friends out for dinner as she had never been in a position to do that.
The court heard she receives around €250 a week in social welfare money and would be willing to pay back €10-€20 of that to Bank of Ireland every week.
The Judge said he would consider if community service would be appropriate and adjourned sentencing until April.