Kellie Walton: Woman who stole over €870,000 from Virgin Media TV freed after just four months

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The Virgin Media employee, who defrauded the company of more than €872,000, has been released from prison after serving less than four months of her two-year sentence.

Pardoned payroll administrator Kellie Walton, who began her sentence at Dochas Women’s Prison on January 19, was moved to a Dublin city center outreach center earlier this month where she is free from come and go as he pleases.

Indeed, Walton spent less than a month in jail for every €218,000 she snatched from station bosses.

Our exclusive photos show the moment we confronted the convicted thief earlier this week as she returned to the center after shopping in the May sunshine.

We tried to ask her if she felt she deserved to be released from prison after only four months, but her only response was, “I have nothing to say to you, thank you!”

We then contacted the Irish Prison Service (IPS) in a bid to establish why the thief, who sneakily pocketed the resort’s money at a time when she was financially struggling, was released after serving a short time. more than 15% of his sentence.

In response, a spokesperson said the IPS does not comment on individual cases but generally said “the service is acutely aware that female prisoners are a vulnerable group within the system. penitentiary”.

He continued: “When a decision is made to release a prisoner before their remission date, it is important to note that the safety of the public is paramount when that decision is made.

“Before a final decision is made, a number of factors are considered, including: the nature and seriousness of the offence; the sentence involved; the person’s criminal record; the risk of the person committing an offense or fails to comply with bail conditions.”

The spokesperson continued: “All temporary releases are subject to conditions and any offender who breaches their conditions may be arrested and returned to prison immediately by the gardai or may be denied another period of temporary release.”

Details of Walton’s flying years at Virgin Media – formerly known as TV3 – have emerged ahead of his sentencing.

Garda Detective John Tuttle said Walton worked as a payroll administrator at the company from 2006, and in that capacity authorized payment of salaries and expenses to staff and casual employees.

In order to steal the money, she made unauthorized payments to casual staff on behalf of people who had previously worked there and falsified relevant documents to substantiate the payment.

She would then transfer the amount to one of the two bank accounts and then withdraw the money in cash or transfer the funds to her own bank account.

Det Garda Tuttle said a garda investigation had been launched after Virgin Media carried out its own internal investigation.

€90,000 was found to have been stolen from the company’s bank account and transferred to an unauthorized bank account.

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Our reporter Patrick talks to Walton as she returns to the outreach center

Our reporter Patrick talks to Walton as she returns to the outreach center

Walton was identified as a suspect because she was the only person with access and authority to conduct such transactions.

She was on vacation when the discovery was made but agreed to participate in an online chat with her employer in which she took responsibility for taking the money, expressed remorse and said she would make confession later.

Det Garda Tuttle said subsequent garda investigation led to the discovery that Walton had stolen money over an extended period.

He had €2,000 left in his own bank account, which was later frozen.

Walton was arrested on January 28, 2020 and questioned four times during which she “exercised her right to silence”, Mr. Cole said.

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Walton refused to be fired upon her release from prison


Walton refused to be fired upon her release from prison

Walton refused to be fired upon her release from prison

Det Garda Tuttle agreed with Walton’s lawyer, Fiona Murphy SC, that Walton was heavily pregnant at the time of her arrest and was clearly upset and distressed during interviews.

Ms Murphy said Walton ‘couldn’t participate’ in the garda interviews as she was heavily pregnant at the time and ‘just shut down’.

She said Walton was a “huge support for her husband and children” and has a “very focused attitude” to support her family.

Ms Murphy told the court Walton did not use the money to fund a lavish lifestyle or buy high-end cars or designer clothes, but rather used it to ‘soften the limits of life of family”.

She said her client started stealing when her partner couldn’t work due to health issues and the family was under “financial stress”, but then it became something that “went out of control”.

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Kellie Walton in court in Dublin last year


Kellie Walton in court in Dublin last year

Kellie Walton in court in Dublin last year

“As things progressed, she found herself caught in a web,” Ms Murphy said, describing how the mother-of-four lived in constant fear of being caught and was “haunted by her actions “.

Ms Murphy said her client lived in rented accommodation and had no family home to show. “Money was wasted on low-end, unnecessary items,” the attorney said.

“The amounts at stake do more than soften the edges,” Judge Greally said, after considering that many of the amounts taken each year amounted to a significant annual salary.

She said the appropriate sentence for the offense was four years in prison and the final two years suspended under strict conditions.

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