Bank’s security guard stole €200 from customer

By Brendan Grehan

A SECURITY guard with G4S, who was working in a Bank of Ireland branch and who stole €200 from a customer, has been jailed for three months by Blanchardstown District Court.

Steven Graham from Ballyfermot had been working in the Bank of Ireland branch in Finglas when he got Patrick Barnes’s password and removed €200 using Barnes atm card.

Blanch Courthouse new 4 compressor

Blanchardstown District Court

Graham claimed that he had put the cash in his pocket and forgot to give it to Mr Barnes.

Graham, aged 50, with an address at Colepark Road, Ballyfermot, had pleaded not guilty to stealing €200 from Mr Barnes at Bank of Ireland, Seamus Ennis Road, Finglas, on December 6, 2016.

Mr Barnes told the court that at 10.55am on the above date, he went into Bank of Ireland to transfer money to his daughter in Australia.

He said he was approached by security guard, Graham, and explained that he wanted to transfer money. He said Graham got him a form and a bank official helped him transfer the money.

Mr Barnes said he later checked his account using the app on his mobile phone and €200 had been withdrawn from his account.

The next day he went into Bank of Ireland and asked to speak to the manager. He told her that €200 had been withdrawn from his account.

He said he had received assistance from the security guard. Mr Barnes said the security guard then approached him and told him he had forgotten his €200 that he had withdrawn the day before.

Mr Barnes told the security guard that he had not withdrawn €200 the day before. He said he then rang his solicitor who told him to go to the Gardai.

Linda McGrath, manager of Bank of Ireland in Finglas, told the court that on December 7, 2016, Mr Barnes called into the branch and said €200 had been withdrawn from his account. Checking the transaction, Ms McGrath said she could see that it was an atm withdrawal.

She said she watched CCTV from the previous day and Graham then approached her and said he had left the €200 withdrawn by Mr Barnes behind the customer service desk.

She said Graham attempted to give the money to Mr Barnes but he refused to take it.

Det-Garda Adrian O’Reilly told the court that on December 7, 2016, he was on duty in Finglas Garda Station when Mr Barnes came in to report a theft.

He said he took a statement from Mr Barnes and he contacted Graham who remembered the incident. Det-Garda O’Reilly said he sent a file to the DPP who directed that Graham should be prosecuted for theft.

The court then watched CCTV footage which showed Graham using Mr Barnes card to withdraw cash and then shows Graham handing the atm card back to Mr Barnes.

Graham said he had been working in the Bank of Ireland for G4S for 12 to 14 months before the incident. He said Mr Barnes had asked him to help him withdraw €200.

He said he withdrew the cash and forgot to give it to Mr Barnes. He said when he realised the cash was in his pockets he wrapped it up in a receipt and put it behind the customer service desk.

He said he attempted to give the cash back to Mr Barnes the next day but he refused to take it.

He told his counsel, Ciaran MacLoughlin Bl, that he had helped “thousands of people” in the branch.

The solicitor for the DPP asked Graham why if he is an employee of G4S is he helping customers in the branch when it was not his job.

Mr MacLoughlin asked Judge McHugh to dismiss the case. He said it was “a very unusual case”. He pointed out that the €200 had never left the bank.

The solicitor for the DPP said: “There is nothing unusual about this case. It was an opportunistic theft.”

Judge McHugh said he was absolutely satisfied that Graham had stolen the cash.

He added: “I am satisfied that Mr Graham carried out this appalling theft. He garnered the injured party’s pin and later withdrew the cash.”

Det-Garda O’Reilly said Graham had eight previous convictions, five of which were for road traffic offences.

On May 10, 2010, he had been convicted of theft, criminal damage and possession of articles for use in theft.

Det-Garda O’Reilly said the incident related to removing a security tag from a bottle of alcohol. Mr MacLoughlin said his client was a father of six children.

Delivering a victim-impact statement, Mr Barnes said he is now more aware of security and is nervous going into banks. He says he sometimes checks his banking app on his phone a number of times a week to check his balance.

Judge McHugh said Graham had been “a security officer in the bank but had acted as a de facto bank teller.”

He sentenced Graham to three months imprisonment.

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