Thief who stole pension from OAP at post office ordered to do community service
Eimear Cotter – 2h ago
ATHIEF who made off with an elderly man’s pension after the man briefly set it down on a post office counter has been ordered to complete community service.
Mateusz Leja (33) had no better explanation for what he had done, other than he “saw the money”.
Judge David McHugh ordered Leja to complete 220 hours community service in lieu of six months in prison.
When the matter came before the judge this week, the court heard that the probation service had deemed Leja suitable to complete community service and the judge perfected the order.
The defendant, of Cruise Park Drive, Tyrrelstown, had previously admitted stealing €243 from a pensioner at Mulhuddart Post Office on June 8 last year.
Blanchardstown District Court had heard the victim, who is in his mid-70s, collected his pension of €243 in the post office. When he returned home he realised the money was not in his pocket.
Gardaí viewed CCTV footage, the court heard, which showed Leja beside the victim.
The victim put his pension on the counter and Leja reached over, picked it up and put the money in his pocket, before walking out of the post office.
Leja had paid €300 compensation to the victim.
Defence solicitor Kelly Breen said Leja had no better explanation for what he had done other than he had seen the money and had taken it.
It was a completely opportunistic crime, she added.
The court heard Leja worked as a landscaper, was in a long-term relationship and had lived in Ireland since 2014.