Belfast Telegraph

Swindling carer who took advantage of an elderly man's infatuation with her faces jail return over unpaid cash

By Paul Higgins

A carer who took advantage of an elderly man's infatuation with her when she accepted more than £100,000 in gifts has been told she faces going back to jail.

Despite handing back £10,000 left to her in her victim's will and selling her marital home, 57-year-old Lesley Boyd had failed to fully meet the £113,000 compensation order, Downpatrick Crown Court heard.

That order was put in place last December when Judge David Smyth QC jailed Boyd for four months.

Lesley Dorothea Helen Boyd, from Chippendale Avenue in Bangor, Co Down, had admitted six counts of fraud in relation to six cheques withdrawing more than £61,000 from the account of 93-year-old Cecil 'Jock' McAllister in 2009 and 2010.

Boyd also pleaded guilty to the theft of £44,000 belonging to Mr McAllister, who has since died.

Prosecuting lawyer Sam Magee described Boyd as "a carer who knew where the line was drawn and overstepped it by a very large margin". He told the court how the offences were uncovered by Stephen Mullen, a great nephew of Mr McAllister, when he was granted power of attorney over his great uncle's financial affairs.

The pensioner and his wife Nan had been residents in Sunnyside care home in Bangor, where Boyd worked, since they sold their home in 2006, the court heard.

But within a month of Mrs McAllister passing away in March 2009, Mr McAllister had written Boyd a cheque for £5,000.

The lawyer said Mr Mullen discovered that his great uncle had written seven cheques to Boyd amounting to a total of £113,000.

He said it was accepted that Mr McAllister could be a "difficult resident at Sunnyside" as he had a "fondness for alcohol" and it had come to the attention of management that Mr McAllister wanted to give money to "his Lesley". The probe also revealed that a Sunnyside staff member had seen Mr McAllister and Boyd "kissing" on the lips. Boyd later admitted the kiss to police.

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

Judge Piers Grant said her crimes were "appalling offences" and that "it is difficult to have any sympathy" for her. He adjourned passing sentence until today and warned Boyd that either the "slate would be wiped clean" or she would go back to jail.

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