Belfast Telegraph

Judge orders jailed carer to sell home so £113k she took from OAP is repaid

BY PAUL HIGGINS

A disgraced carer who was given more than £100,000 by an infatuated elderly man she looked after has been ordered to sell her home to pay the money back.

Last December Lesley Boyd was jailed for six months after she admitted six counts of defrauding 93-year-old Cecil 'Jock' McAllister, who has since died.

The love-struck former RAF flight lieutenant had written Boyd love letters and referred to her as "his Lesley", before handing over six cheques, the highest for £50,000.

Yesterday Judge Piers Grant said Boyd's house – which has been on the market for some time – "needs to be sold rapidly" in order to pay the money back.

It currently has an asking price of more than £139,000, although Boyd's lawyer suggested it could be dropped to £120,000.

The judge suggested the property could be put up for auction to allow 56-year-old Boyd to pay back the cash she wrongfully accepted.

After adjourning the case for two weeks Judge Grant warned that if there was no movement, he would call the estate agent to tell him what steps were being taken.

He said there was no reason the house could not be sold while Boyd was in jail, and warned there needed to be swift progress on the conveyancing.

Mr McAllister and his wife Nan had been residents in Sunnyside care home in Bangor, where Boyd worked, after they sold their home in 2006.

But after Mrs McAllister passed away in March 2009, Mr McAllister had written Boyd a cheque for £5,000 within a month – although staff "could not even accept £20 in a Christmas card", let alone the vast sums she accepted, Downpatrick Crown Court was told.

The court heard earlier how a colleague had spotted Boyd kissing Mr McAllister on the lips and that at times he told his carers that Boyd was fixing her house so that he could move in with her.

Prosecuting lawyer Sam Magee said Mr McAllister's great-nephew had discovered that he had written a number of cheques – all to Boyd – amounting to a total of £113,000.

It was only when Boyd accepted the money that her relationship with Jock became inappropriate and crossed the boundary into criminality, Mr Magee said.

He said that Jock could be a "difficult resident at Sunnyside" as he had a "fondness for alcohol", and it had come to the attention of the home's management that Mr McAllister wanted to give money to Boyd.

Mr Magee said Boyd was spoken to and received training in how relationships between staff and their patients were to be conducted.

He said "there could be no doubt in her mind as to the potential impropriety of accepting such a gift".

"This was a carer who knew where the line was drawn and overstepped it by a very large margin," he added.

Mr Magee said that after Jock's health deteriorated in 2010 he was moved to a nursing home in Newtownards, but even then he wrote another cheque to Boyd, this time for £44,000.

During later police interviews Boyd admitted she and Mr McAllister had kissed and accepted that she had received more than £100,000 from the pensioner, using the money to fix up her own home and help her three sons.

She told police that Jock "constantly sent her flowers and cards" and said he was in love with her, although she maintained it was not a romantic relationship.

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