A woman who stole more than €3,000 from her young niece and nephew’s piggy bank and bank accounts has appeared in court.
Nicola McFadden appeared at a special sitting of Letterkenny District Court charged with a number of offences of thefts from her 11-year-old and one-year-old nieces.
The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to all charges when she appeared before Judge Ciaran Liddy.
The court was told that Ms McFadden stole from a number of banks across Donegal to feed her drug habit.
Garda Sergeant Maurice Doyle said Ms McFadden stole various amounts of cash at AIB bank branches in Dungloe and Letterkenny.
On another occasion McFadden stole €110 from the piggy bank of her 11-year-old niece at her home.
She admitted stealing from the AIB accounts in the names of her niece and nephew which were under the care of their mother.
Among the charges are that on February 11th, 2022 at AIB, Upper Main Street Letterkenny she stole €950 in cash (from the account of her 11 year old niece) which was Contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences Act) 2001.
On February 2nd, 2022 she is charged that at AIB Bank, Dungloe she did steal €650 in cash (from the account of her 11 year old niece) which was also Contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences Act) 2001.
On April 13th, 2022, at AIB in Dungloe she is also charged with stealing €550 (from the account of her 1-year-old nephew) Contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences Act) 2001.
She also pleaded guilty to a series of further thefts from both the Letterkenny and Dungloe branches of AIB.
The court was told the thefts came to light when the children’s mother noticed the money missing and contacted Gardai.
Solicitor for the accused woman of Ballintemple, Falcarragh, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said the stolen money had all since been repaid.
He said that Ms McFadden’s family had “stepped in” in a bid to support her and had accompanied her to court.
However, he stressed that Ms McFadden’s family did not request that the charges be dropped saying she had to make atonement for the offences before the court.
He said that his client was suffering from a drugs issue but that she had started treatment for her addiction even though the treatment it was only in its infancy.
Mr Gallagher suggested that the case be adjourned until next year to allow for a Probation Report to be compiled.
Judge Liddy noted that the stolen cash had been repaid and ordered a Probation Report in the case.
He adjourned the matter until March 25th, 2024 for final sentence.