ALL the money that a care home worker stole from an 83-year-old care home resident went on household bills and debts.
That is according to solicitor, Darragh Hassett who told Killaloe District Court that there was “no element of flashiness” in the spend by Lorraine Hennessy of the €3,011 that she stole from Terrence Stevenson.
Mr Hassett said that Ms Hennessy has now repaid all the €3,011 that was stolen from Mr Stevenson.
In the case, Ms Hennessy (40) of Glor na Srutha, Clonlara has pleaded guilty to 22 theft charges concerning €3,011 between August 20 and October 5 2020 from Mr Stevenson.
In court, Judge Mary Larkin said that there had “been a breach of trust” by Ms Hennessy of Mr Stevenson.
Judge Larkin told the court this week, “I am definitely going to convict because of the breach of trust of Mr Stevenson.”
Sergeant Louis Moloney told the court, “It is a particularly bad offence and there are many of them and it was taken badly locally.”
Judge Larkin said that she required a probation report prior to sentencing and adjourned sentencing to July; the report was required “urgently”, she remarked.
In evidence previously, Detective Garda John Jenks stated that Mr Stevenson knew that he was dying when he was making his statement to Gardai concerning the thefts and died on January 25 2021.
Mr Stevenson didn’t have a visitor at the east Clare care home for over two years.
Detective Jenks stated that the 22 thefts from Mr Stevenson were carried out through a VISA debit card that he had given to Ms Hennessy to get his messages.
The detective Jenks said that the money was spent by Ms Hennessy on insurance payments, online motor tax, utility bills and payments to a high interest loan company along with a contribution to a daughter’s school.
The thefts ranged in value from €20 to €450 and other amounts concerned include €122, €157, €123, €50, €122, €350, €247 and €150.
The detective said that Mr Stevenson was a single man and moved to Killaloe in east Clare from the UK around 30 years ago.
He said that Mr Stevenson had no family in Ireland but has a brother and niece in the UK.
Mr Stevenson moved into the nursing home in December 2018 after Detective Jenks stated that the man wasn’t able to look after himself anymore and wanted to spend his last few years in comfort in a nursing home.
He said that when Gardai went to the home of Ms Hennessy on February 19 last year, she immediately accepted responsibility for the thefts.
Detective Jenks said that Ms Hennessy – employer as a care worker at the care home from April 2020 to November 2020 – said that she was under pressure for money.
He added that Ms Hennessy’s late partner took his own life in 2016 and his body was found by a then 17-year-old daughter in a garden shed.
Detective Jenks said that this tragedy greatly impacted Ms Hennessy.
Solicitor for Ms Hennessy, Mr Hassett previously stated his client is “utterly ashamed”.
Mr Hassett said that “temptation raised its head” when Ms Hennessy was given Mr Stevenson’s bank card.
He said that Ms Hennessy was under “massive pressure” money wise.
Mr Hassett said that Ms Hennessy has no previous convictions.
Judge Mary Larkin adjourned the case to July for the probation report to be carried out on Ms Hennessy.