A young man panicked when his boss confiscated a drug that fell from his pocket in work and he later broke into the office to retrieve it.
The young man’s solicitor, Joseph Cuddigan, said the accused had paid heavily for his crime even before he faced sentencing today.
He lost his job. He lost the possibility of a reference from his employer. And he had to gather over €1,000 compensation for his former boss.
Judge Olann Kelleher added to that list today by imposing a six-month suspended jail term and a community service order of 240 hours at Cork District Court.
“He was in a position of trust with his employer and he broke that trust,” Judge Kelleher said.
Sergeant John Kelleher previously outlined the background. The manager at the defendant’s then workplace saw a suspected drug fall from the employee’s pocket. The manager responded by putting the item into his office and sending the employee home.
“The defendant was seen on CCTV later that day trying to force his way into the manager’s office and causing damage to the door frame in the process,” Sgt Kelleher said.
Sgt Kelleher added that when interviewed the defendant admitted causing damage to the wall, door frame and door. The sergeant said that the young man no longer worked at the company which is based at Little Island, County Cork.
Joseph Cuddigan, defence solicitor, “It is a most unusual case. His intent in gaining access to the office was an attempt to retrieve what was taken from him.
“He had been working there for four years and his employment was terminated on that day.
“It is debatable whether a civilian is entitled to seize suspected drugs.”
However, the defence solicitor said that no argument was being put up by the defence in this respect and that the accused man was pleading guilty to causing the criminal damage and a related trespass charge.
“It was a case of taking this extreme action of trying to retrieve this item. It is far removed from the typical case of breaking and entering,” Mr Cuddigan said.
Ryan Buckley of Ballygrogan, Grenagh, County Cork, put €1,000 together to pay the compensation to his former employer.