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Belfast City Hospital worker facing jail after stealing patient’s keys used to burgle home


A nursing auxiliary who stole from an elderly patient has been warned she faces jail. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

A nursing auxiliary who stole from an elderly patient has been warned she faces jail. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

A nursing auxiliary who stole from an elderly patient has been warned she faces jail. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

A nursing auxiliary who stole a purse and house keys from an elderly patient has been warned she faces jail.

Julie Anne Lemon (45) appeared at Belfast Crown Court on Thursday, alongside her mother Claire Clarina Lemon (65) and 41-year old sister Michelle Seenan.

After Julie Anne Lemon stole items from the 72-year old patient in May 2019, her sister and mother became involved in further offending.

This came in the form of burgling the pensioner's home in Lisburn whilst she was being treated in hospital, taking bank documents from the property then using the stolen bank card.

In court, all three admitted a range of offences including burglary dating back to May and June 2019 and were told by Judge Stephen Fowler QC that they will be sentenced next week.

Before he adjourned sentencing, the Belfast Recorder was told that in April 2019, a widow from Lisburn was admitted to Belfast City Hospital.

The care workers who tended to the pensioner locked her home and placed her handbag containing her purse and keys in the ambulance with her.

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Due to a deterioration in her health, she remained in hospital, and at the end of May, it emerged that the patient's house keys and purse were missing.

On June 6th, 2019 her neighbours in Lisburn noticed two women who pulled up in a taxi and went into the pensioner's home.

The same thing occurred on June 11 and, on that occasion, the neighbours spoke to the two women as they were leaving the house.

One of them said she was the pensioner's niece and said her aunt would not be coming home and was being moved to residential care.

The neighbours then made contact with the pensioner's sister, who confirmed she didn't have any nieces.

Family then attended the house, the locks were changed and the PSNI were informed.

On June 14, two women were once again seen at the woman's house, and on this occasion, they were unable to gain access.

They left the area and, after police were notified, they were arrested a short time later after boarding a bus.

The pair - Julie Ann Lemon and her mother Claire Clarina Lemon - were searched and the older woman was found to be in possession of the pensioner's bank cards.

As police investigation was launched and it emerged that Julie Ann Lemon worked as a nursing auxiliary at Belfast City Hospital.

Bank records linked to the stolen card were also checked, and as a result CCTV footage of two women withdrawing cash from a bank machine on the Shankill Road was obtained by police.

Despite her initial denials, Julie Ann Lemon admitted stealing the patient's property from the ward.

The mother-of-three, from Altnagarron Mews in Belfast, also admitted going to the woman's house with her mother on two occasions in a bid to obtain bank documents, and using the stolen bank card twice.

Her mother Claire Clarina Lemon, a grandmother-of-ten from Malvern Way in the city, admitted going to the pensioner's house three time, and using the bank card on seven occasions in June.

Michelle Seenan, from Tyndale Gardens, was also arrested and admitted going to Lisburn with her mother once, and using the bank card three times - once to withdraw £500 which was split three ways.

Whilst both Lemons have relevant criminal records, Seenan appeared in court with no previous convictions.

Crown barrister David Russell branded the offences as serious, called for custodial sentences and highlighted the breach of trust regarding Julie Ann Lemon in her role at the hospital.

Barristers for all three women appealed to Judge Fowler to show their clients mercy, and asked for alternatives sentences to that of immediate prison.

The Judge was told that all three women have expressed remorse for their actions, and have family responsibilities.

He said he would sentence all three next Wednesday, and added: "They are released on continuing bail, but I make it very clear that this is absolutely no indication of how I am going to deal with this case.

"They should be aware of that and take steps in relation to that."

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