A 42-year old Latvian cleaner stole jewellery from her employer at her home as the woman’s sister lay dying in hospital, a court has heard.
At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, Esther Murphy, of Carrowbane House, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare, told of the “seriously devastating effect” the thefts by Nadezda Krotova of Delacey Park, Shannon, had on her and her family.
Mrs Murphy said she was in a severe state of grief following the "devastating" deaths of her mother, and sister six weeks later last year.
In a victim impact statement delivered in court on Wednesday, Mrs Murphy said that “while my sister lay dying in hospital, Nadia chose to steal their jewellery that had just been given to me — some heirlooms that are passed from generation to generation”.
Mrs Murphy said: “The time she chose to take this course of action was extremely cruel and heartless. I could not believe that this was happening.”
Mrs Murphy said Ms Krotova “had cultivated a person of someone who was warm, friendly and trustworthy. I frequently gave her dinner and she was always treated generously. In light of this, I found it hard to accept that she could carry out the thefts and particularly at such a vulnerable time for me and my family.
Mrs Murphy said: "The effects of this will have taken their toll. It resulted in a lot of sleepless nights, nightmares and stress. It got so bad I had to seek psychological support."
Mrs Murphy said: “As far as I am concerned, the defendant’s course of action will affect me for the rest of my life. I did ask her to return the items. She completely denied she had taken any and showed no hint of remorse whatsoever. An apology would appear to be out of the question."
Addressing her ex-cleaner directly, Mrs Murphy said:
Ms Krotova pleaded guilty to stealing a €500 gold chain from Mrs Murphy at her home on dates between November 1, 2020, and May 28, 2021, and stealing a €50 scarf on May 21, 2021.
Solicitor for Ms Krotova John Casey said his client wished to apologise to Mrs Murphy for the thefts. Sgt Louis Moloney said the stolen property had been recovered.
Judge Mary Larkin adjourned the case to October for a probation report to be carried out on Ms Krotova with a view to finding out her suitability for community service and further remanded her on bail for sentencing.