Men who stole 18k from Tallaght casino they worked in received suspended sentences

By Sonya McLean

Two men who stole a total of almost €18,000 by manipulating the roulette table and interfering with the fruit machine in the casino they worked in have received suspended sentences.

Tayab Kourtishe (47) and Jagjeet Singh (41) were captured on CCTV footage interfering with the machines, which included tricking the roulette table by removing the glass cover and placing a ball on a number before playing the machine.

Dublin Criminal Courts of Justice 2 October 2016

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

This fooled the machine into thinking the ball already inserted was a win and treated it as a win.

Garda Brian McCormack told Antonia Boyle BL, prosecuting, that the method they used to steal from the fruit machine involved a third person who is not yet before the court.

This person loaded a large number of €50 notes into the machine before pressing a “pay out” button. This then generates a ticket allowing the person to cash it in to redeem the money they had just put into the machines.

 Kourtishe is then captured on CCTV footage, unlocking the machine, using a key he had stolen from the office and withdrawing all the cash the third person had just put into the machine.

Singh then came along and cleared all the transactions on the machine, which effectively wiped the statistics on the machine and removed all records of the input of the €50 notes into it.

 Kourtishe of  Donomore Avenue, Killinarden, Tallaght, Dublin 24 and Singh of New Seskin Court, Whitestown Way, Tallaght, Dublin 24 pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sample charges of theft from Expo Casino in The Square, Tallaght on dates in September 2017.

Neither man have previous convictions and both had money in court to make full recompense.

Gda McCormack said that Kourtishe had stolen €8,895 from the fruit machines and by manipulating the roulette table, while Singh stole a total of €8,988 from the fruit machines.

Judge Pauline Codd noted that Singh was manager of the casino and stole the cash while the owner of the casino was on a month's leave.

She accepted that he has made full restitution and had a gambling addiction at the time but noted that his behaviour represented a “breach of trust”.

Judge Codd accepted from various testimonials before the court that the offences were “out of character” for Singh and that he has since “sought to address his gambling 

addiction”.

Judge Codd said that Kourtishe had taken keys from the office which enabled him to steal from the fruit machine. She said he was “culpable in terms of his breach of trust” but again acknowledged that he has made full recompense for the theft.

Gda McComack said the owner of the casino immediately identified both Kourtishe and Singh as suspects through CCTV footage, once the thefts were discovered.

Gda McCormack acknowledged that both men had provided him with bank drafts to cover the full amount of money they had stolen but he has had difficulty in contacting the owner of the casino as he has since moved to Spain. There was also no victim impact statement prepared for the case.

Kieran Kelly BL, defending Kourtishe, asked the court to take into account his client's pleas of guilty and co-operation with the garda investigation.

He said his client, who is originally from Algeria, felt a compulsion to look after his mother who was elderly and ill, which was what motivated him to steal the cash.

“He knows now that he cannot give to others what he does not legitimately have himself,” Mr Kelly said.

“He was well-motivated, if misguided, in his intentions and hopes to go back to the person he always was,” counsel submitted.

John Griffin BL, defending Singh, said his client, is originally from Indian and is a married man with two children. He said Singh had gambling issues which started back in 2014.

“He can only ask for forgiveness. He talks about how he has brought shame on his family,” counsel continued before he asked the court to take into account Singh's co-operation and the fact that he made full restitution.

Both men made immediate admissions when their boss questioned them about it and signed a note to say they had stolen the cash. They also returned some of the cash they had stolen.

Both men were sentenced to two and half years in prison which were suspended in full on strict conditions.

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