Worker who stole €10k worth of scratch cards ‘jealous of pals’ pay rises’

A former shop assistant manager who pocketed more than €10,000 worth of scratch cards because he was jealous of his friends getting pay rises has been given an 18-month suspended sentence.

Rafal Winter pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing lottery scratch cards at Spar, The Crescent, Mulhuddart, on dates between July 2 and September 24, 2017. He had no previous convictions in Ireland or his native Poland.

Sentencing Winter, Judge Melanie Greally noted he had made great efforts to repay the €10,500 he had stolen from his former employers. A retail management company had contacted the Spar general manager about a discrepancy in scratch cards.

The manager reinstated a practice, which had been dropped by a previous boss, of counting the scratch cards every night. She then approached Winter while making her inquiries. He admitted responsibility in a private conversation.

Winter said he had been at a barbecue with friends who had been talking about money and pay rises and he became jealous. He admitted taking up to 30 books of scratch cards over several weeks and offered to resign and pay back the money lost to the shop. Winter presented himself to gardai and explained that he took between two and four scratch card books a week and scratched them all himself. He said he had asked for a pay rise but had not received one.