Alice Warnock (55) told gardaí she was sorry and “felt like a fool” after the six year fraud was uncovered while she was on sick leave in 2012. The court heard that Warnock’s family had been unaware she had lodged money into their accounts.
The mother-of-two of Rathbeale Court, Swords, Co Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to nine sample counts of stealing from bank branches on Talbot Street and Malahide Road, Coolock, between November 2004 and March 2012. She has no previous convictions.
Judge Melanie Greally had adjourned the case having heard evidence in March last year.
Judge Greally accepted that “evidence of a psychological upset” in Warnock’s life provided some insight into her actions.
She further accepted she has since made “full restitution” and was responsible towards her elderly parents.
“She has suffered loss of reputation and the loss of her livelihood,” Judge Greally said before she took into account the fact that the case was heavily reported by the media.
“The offences were not committed in relation to a financial predicament, they were carried out to enhance her lifestyle,” Judge Greally concluded before she imposed a 12 month sentence on the various counts to run concurrently.
Detective Garda Siobhan Moore told the sentence hearing last year that Warnock, who had been employed with Bank of Ireland since 1980, took amounts ranging from €600 to €5,000 out of the bank’s internal administration account.
The detective told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Warnock “inputed narratives” to make the transactions appear genuine.
She said the bank began an investigation in May 2012 while Warnock was on sick leave and got details of all her accounts where misappropriated amounts were seen as lodgements.
Warnock told gardaí the offending had “all got out of hand” and that her family had not been aware of what she was doing.
Det Gda Moore said Warnock, who had since been fired, co-operated and took full responsibility.
The detective agreed with Lorcan Staines BL, defending, that she had family support and was a full time carer for her sick, elderly parents.
She agreed Warnock had €7,000 in court and would undertake to pay €3,500 per quarter to eventually compensate the bank in full.
Today Mr Staines confirmed the bank has now been fully compensated.
Counsel said the family was “downsizing” their home to also help with the repayment.
Mr Staines handed testimonials and documentation to Judge Greally.