The daughter of a Magherafelt pensioner robbed of £10,700 by a carer has urged other families not to turn away help because of what happened.
Praising the many “absolutely invaluable” carers who helped look after her parents before they died, she said the cruel thief was the exception, not the rule.
“So many people do need care and can’t do without it,” said the woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons.
“It’s very unfair if one or two unreliable characters mean that lots of other people get a bad name and leave vulnerable people even more vulnerable. Carers are not out to do you. We couldn’t have done without them.
“The carers we had - with that exception - were absolutely fantastic and I would not have been able to keep my father at home without them.”
Single mother-of-five Glenda Henry (51), also from Magherafelt, had been helping the woman’s 81-year-old mother twice a week, when she stole money from her account between June 2015 and February 2016. Henry was told by Londonderry Crown Court Judge Gemma Loughran that she had 12 months to repay £5,000 - or she would go to prison.
Parkmore Gardens resident Henry’s crime was described as “selfish and greedy” in court.
But before this, the “chronically disabled” woman had a clear record and a lawyer said she had used the money for day-to-day matters.
Police were alerted to the theft by the victim’s daughter, who had noticed irregularities in her mother’s debit card account. A subsequent investigation found money had been taken even when her victim was in hospital.
Henry was caught when CCTV showed her making illegal withdrawals from an ATM at Asda, Cookstown.
Speaking after Henry’s sentencing, the vulnerable victim’s daughter said: “The judge commented on the impact things like this have on other people that need care, and I know that the mother of a friend of mine said exactly that.
“It does happen, but we had dozens of people in and out of my house because my father was ill for quite a long time.
“Only one person actually did that. Yes it happens, but it’s not actually a dead cert.
“We had loads of people and we couldn’t fault them and some of them were there for years, coming in and out of our house week-after-week.
“Only one person actually did this.”