A carer for an elderly lady has received a three-year suspended sentence for stealing over €30,000 from the retired school teacher.
Alison Wilkins, aged 48, a Dublin mother of four, had access to Rita Keogh’s debit card and PIN after the accused endeared herself to the woman.
The court heard Ms Keogh is a widow who suffers dementia. She was provided home help from a company that Wilkins worked with.
Wilkins, of Balcurris Park West, Balcurris, Ballymun, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to nine sample charges of theft on dates between July 2013 and March 2014. She has no previous convictions.
Garda Paul Ryan told Anne Marie Lawlor BL, prosecuting, that Wilkins’ role involved ensuring that Ms Keogh had all her meals and took her daily medication.
The lady then began to trust her more and encouraged Wilkins to run errands for her. She provided her with her bank card and PIN for that purpose.
Judge Desmond Hogan described the offending as “a mean crime” involving a huge breach of trust, but told the court he was not going to impose a custodial sentence “for reasons of restitution”.
He ordered Wilkins to hand over the €1,500 she had raised so far and gave her four years to come up with €28,500 to be paid back to the victim’s family.
He further ordered that Wilkins do 240 hours of voluntary work, undergo 12 months probation service supervision and complete any recommended drug treatment programme.
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