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Carer who stole from 81-year-old told: pay back £5k or face jail

By George Jackson

A carer who abused her position of trust by stealing £10,700 from her 81-year-old home help patient has been given 12 months to pay back £5,000 or face prison.

Glenda Henry, a single mother-of-five from Parkmore Gardens in Magherafelt, stole the money from the victim between June 2015 and February 2016. Her victim died last May.

Judge Gemma Loughran told Henry at Londonderry Crown Court yesterday that her offending was callous.

Henry (51), who is chronically disabled, worked two days a week from 2012 for the victim, who at the time cared for her elderly husband.

A prosecution barrister said in March 2015 the victim's daughter contacted police after noting irregularities in her mother's debit card account. At that time the victim had trusted Henry with her debit card and PIN number for shopping purposes.

In June 2015 the victim transferred £1,000 from her savings account into her current account and in the space of four weeks Henry withdrew the sum, £250 per week. The victim then received a letter from her bank stating that her current account was overdrawn, which caused her distress and upset.

In November 2015 the victim's husband transferred £6,000 from his savings account into his wife's current account. Henry then stole more money from the woman's account - once when her victim was in hospital.

Henry was caught when police traced one of the illegal withdrawals from the account to an ATM machine in the Asda supermarket in Cookstown. They examined CCTV footage, which showed the defendant withdrawing the money.

Henry was interviewed by police in January 2016 and denied any wrongdoing, but when she was re-interviewed the following July she made partial admissions and accepted that she had taken advantage of her victim's trust.

Judge Loughran said aspects of the offending appalled her. None of the stolen £10,700 has been recovered and she said she was struggling not to send Henry straight to jail.

"This woman took you into her home. She trusted you, but when you looked at her straight in the eye you went behind her back and stole her money," she told Henry.

"What you did was mean and selfish and the greedy course of conduct in which you engaged over a period of time was reprehensible."

Defence barrister Mark Reel said that Henry, who received £180 per week in benefits, had lost her previously good name and reputation.

He said she had no previous convictions and wanted to pay back some of the money she had stolen. Mr Reel added that Henry did not fund a lavish lifestyle with the money she had stolen, rather she used it for day to day matters.

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