Shop manager who stole €72,000 in daily takings to feed a gambling addiction ordered to carry out community service

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By Brion Hoban

A shop manager who stole over €72,000 from the daily takings to feed a gambling addiction has been ordered to complete 240 hours of community service.

Paul Cashel (49) began taking small amounts of cash from the shop, then took further cash the following day to replenish what he had already taken. This progressed until he no longer had the means to replenish the funds.

Cashel of Larkfield Gardens, Kimmage, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to thefts at Aran Sweater Market Ltd, Grafton Street, Dublin City centre, on dates between March 2, 2019 and April 11, 2019. He has five previous convictions for road traffic offences.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Martin Nolan ordered that Cashel complete 240 hours of community service in lieu of two years imprisonment.

Garda Mark O’Neil told Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, that at the time of the offending, Cashel was the manager of the shop on Grafton Street and had a gambling problem.

Gda O’Neill said an issue arose at the beginning of 2019 when a financial controller for the company needed to see what had been lodged in various shops. Money due to be lodged in the shop was outstanding and the safe was empty.

Gardaí were informed that the store manager had abruptly resigned the previous day and it was believed he had taken the cash before resigning.

Cashel had taken money from January and February to replenish money taken in December, then taken money from March to replenish the money taken from those months.

In April this caught up with him and he did not have the means to replenish the money, the court heard. The total outstanding amount of cash was €72,629.53.

Cashel admitted to taking the money and gambling it all away. In interview with gardaí, he said the job got “onerous” for him, he got into gambling small bits at the beginning and then more.

Gda O’Neil agreed with Seán O’Quigley BL, defending, that his client has never been before the courts for anything as serious as this.

The garda agreed with counsel that when arrested, his client made full admissions and expressed remorse. He agreed it was accepted this offence occurred due to a gambling addiction.

He agreed with Mr O’Quigley that his client was a hard-working man who was liked and respected by his colleagues. The garda confirmed his colleagues had had great trust in Cashel.

Mr O’Quigley said his client was married and has three children. He said his client had previously been running two of his own businesses, but they closed.

Counsel said this offending is specifically linked to his client’s gambling addiction and there has been no issue with gambling since. He said the breach of trust was significant and his client has destroyed his reputation.

He asked the court to consider imposing a non-custodial sentence.

At a previous sentencing hearing in June 2021, Judge Nolan indicated he intended to impose community service in this case and adjourned the matter for a report to deem the accused’s suitability.

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