Benefits mum spent £22k in ‘massive’ spree after cash paid into bank by mistake

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A single mum on benefits splurged £22,000 after the whopping sum was randomly deposited into her bank account.

Margaret McDonnell, 23, went on a luxury shopping spree after she discovered that £43,750 had mysteriously landed in her account.

The stunned mum decided to purchase clothes and shoes for her two kids before treating her friends and family to gifts.

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She ate out every night for two weeks as part of the "massive spending spree", Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

McDonnell was slapped with a suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to 13 counts of theft of cash from the Bank of Ireland in March 2013.

Judge Cormac Quinn told her at the time: “If it's too good to be true it is because it is too good to be true."

The mishap occurred after a Bank of Ireland customer was handed the incorrect IBAN number by mistake.

It was reported that the customer transferred £44,450 into his account from a foreign bank account.

He was given McDonnell's details by accident and she subsequently received the money on March 6 instead.

During her luxury shopping spree, the 23-year-old visited Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Lifestyle Sports, New Look, Shoe Rack, Heatons and Centra.

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As soon as the bank realised the blunder, it retrieved £23,000.

McDonnell was arrested and accepted full responsibility for the crime and told police she thought the cash was hers.

The mum said: “I just went on a high. It was such a lot of money. It was in my account so as far as I was concerned it was mine."

She added: “If only you knew me, you would know I was bothered by this.

"Any young girl on social welfare like me would have done what I did.”

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