Stole from ‘vulnerable, elderly’ man

A carer who stole from a ‘vulnerable elderly person’ has been jailed for four months.

Norma Elder, of Victoria Road, Bready, Strabane, pleaded guilty to theft by an employee, theft and possessing articles for use in fraud.

The offences were committed between June and August, last year.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the 47-year-old was a carer for a ‘very vulnerable and elderly person whose faculties were sadly diminished’ and who it it believed has since died.

The injured party gave cheques to three carers, two of whom ‘honoured their obligations’ and handed them straight back to the injured party’s family.

However, Elder didn’t and also obtained blank cheques. In total she stole around £400 from the injured party.

The court was told although she pleaded guilty to the offences, in an interview with probaiton Elder provided ‘alternative explanantions for what happened’.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin said his client was a woman of previous good character and the ‘conviction in and of itself is almost the worst aspect’ for her.

Jailing the 47-year-old, District Judge Barney McElholm said he ‘felt compelled to impose an immediate custodial sentence’.

He said Elder had shown ‘no remorse’ and ‘no acceptance’ of her behaviour and it was a ‘serious breach of trust case’.