Fleeced as he mourned: Elderly man lost his wife, then carer swindled him out of £100,000
A woman who stole more than £100,000 from an elderly man she cared for struck when her victim was at his most vulnerable, it can be revealed.
Just one month after Cecil McAllister lost his wife in 2009, his carer started to fraudulently cash cheques from his bank account, it emerged last night.
And his case has been highlighted as an extreme case of financial abuse of the elderly by his great-nephew Stephen Mullan.
"He was a very astute person – he was the last person that I would have believed could have fallen victim to this," he said.
Yesterday, Lesley Dorothea Helen Boyd pleaded guilty at Downpatrick Crown Court to stealing more than £100,000 over 14 months from a man she was supposed to be helping to look after as a carer in Sunnyside House care home in Bangor.
Boyd (56), from Chippendale Avenue in Bangor, was charged with six counts of fraud in relation to writing six bank cheques from Mr McAlister's bank account which totalled more than £61,000.
She was also charged with the theft of a further £44,000 from Mr McAllister, who died at the age of 92 in January 2011.
Mr McAllister, known as Jock to his family and friends, moved into the care home in Bangor with his wife Nan when they were no longer able to live independently.
Originally from Dunoon, Scotland, Jock and Nan had lived happily in Bangor for more than 30 years.
The devoted couple did not have any children of their own.
His great-nephew Mr Mullan said last night: "There are really no winners from what has happened here today.
"I feel sorry that Mr McAllister found himself in this position, I feel sorry that Mrs Boyd put herself in this position.
"I guess as he got older he got more vulnerable and needed more care, he declined from being a very independent man to a man very much dependent on others to provide the care that he needed."
Mr Mullan (30), from Dublin, said that Mr McAllister had made an accusation about Boyd after he had moved to Movilla House care home, Newtownards.
"Fair play to the staff, they acted very promptly on that accusation.
"It was dealt with at the time and parked at the time," said Mr Mullan.
However, when it became clear that Mr McAllister was unable to pay everyday bills, his great-nephew was awarded power of attorney on his financial affairs and this gave him the scope to see if what was being alleged was actually true.
Mr Mullan later reported his findings to the PSNI, who investigated further and later charged Boyd.
Boyd will appear again in court for sentencing on December 13.
"The case just opens up the whole arena of financial elder abuse. Elderly people are very dependent on others to care for them and as a result of that you can form very close relationships with those caring for you. There's a very fine line there – and the accused crossed that line and found herself in this unenviable position."
Cecil McAllister's great-nephew, Stephen Mullan