Stole from elderly, vulnerable man


A 25-year-old who stole money from a ‘vulnerable, elderly’ man has received a suspended sentence.

Gareth Thomas, of The Fountain, pleaded guilty to five charges of theft between August and November 2012.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that a total of £1171.50 was taken from the injured party’s bank account.

Thomas helped the injured party around the house and was paid £150 per fortnight for doing this.

The court heard the elderly man, who has now passed away, gave the 25-year-old his bankcard to pay himself and to take money out for groceries.

Thomas began taking extra money from the account when he was ‘running low’.

During police interview the 25-year-old said he did not keep a record of how much money he took, however admitted it ‘spiralled out of control’.

Defence counsel Steven Mooney said the breach of trust in the case is ‘clearly an aggravating factor’.

He added the 25-year-old was a man of previous good character and now faces ‘very bleak employment prospects’ as a result of his offending.

Suspending a ten month jail sentence for three years, District Judge Barney McElholm said the victim ‘completely trusted the defendant and relied on him. This was a disgraceful way to treat anyone in circumstances like that’.

The judge also ordered Thomas to pay £1171.50 compensation.