A REGISTERED carer stole money from the handbag of a 95-year-old woman she was looking after, Limerick District Court heard.
Geraldine Keating, 49, a married mother-of-three from Manister, Croom, pleaded guilty to three sample charges of stealing sums of €50, €20 and €20 on March 13, March 18 and March 20 at the home of the women in Fedamore.
Detective Garda Senan O’Sullivan said Keating was arrested last Friday following a Garda operation and a €20 note, which had been marked, was found on her. She had taken it from the elderly woman’s handbag.
Det Gda O’Sullivan said the victim was disappointed that the trust she had in her carer had been breached. Keating had been coming to her home over the past two years to look after her.
The accused, he said, co-operated with the investigation.
Defence solicitor Ruairi O’Donnell said his client apologised unreservedly for her actions and was remorseful, adding her job prospects would be greatly diminished.
He said the accused had €400 in court to hand over by way of compensation.
Judge Tom O’Donnell said the victim had hit the nail on the head when she said this had been an awful blow to her and a breach of trust.
He added: “I would have to say this is a very mean type of crime, in so far as given the age of the injured party and given her level of trust in this lady.”
Judge O’Donnell said he was taking into account Keating’s early plea of guilty and her co-operation with the gardaí.
There was also, he said the irreparable damage to her job prospects in the field of caring.
Given these circumstance he applied the Probation Act.
He said the €400 should be given to the elderly victim.