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Carer who robbed OAP avoids prison

By Nevin Farrell

A home help who stole money from a dying 87-year-old woman has avoided jail after challenging her 10-month sentence.

Phyllis Peacock (57), of Ballymacombs Road, Portglenone, appealed her conviction and sentence.

After hearing evidence at the County Court in Antrim, Judge Gordon Kerr QC affirmed the guilty verdict. However, he varied the sentence, which he said had been "too harsh", and instead imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for two years.

Judge Kerr said although the evidence was "circumstantial", he was satisfied with the conviction.

He told Peacock it was a "breach of trust" and the offending continued for a period of time. He said the defendant was in her 50s with no previous convictions and outside of work she was a carer in her own family.

The judge said she would lose her employment but he considered 10 months in jail "too harsh" as he gave her the suspended term.

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