Carer stole €1,200 from el­derly clients


Bray People - - NEWS -

A CARER with a his­tory of al­co­hol and co­caine ad­dic­tion who stole €1,200 from his el­derly clients has sought help from sex­ual abuse char­ity One in Four for a trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence when he was eight years old.

Stephen McGrath (40), 25 Burn­aby Park, Grey­stones, was em­ployed dur­ing the sum­mer of 2010 as a carer for a La Touche Park man with ad­vanced de­men­tia.

The man’s wife no­ticed that €1,200 had re­moved from her bank ac­count and it tran­spired that a cheque had been pre­sented on Au­gust 26 at a bank in Grey­stones and cashed.

She checked her own pri­vate cheque book and a cheque had been stolen from her hand­bag in the house.

Five days later, be­fore any garda in­ter­ven­tion, €1,000 was lodged back into her ac­count.

Garda Kevin Done­gan subse- quently re­trieved the re­main­ing €200 when McGrath pre­sented him­self at the garda sta­tion, bring­ing with him a letter of apol­ogy.

Garda Done­gan agreed with so­lic­i­tor Bren­dan Maloney that the de­fen­dant’s re­morse was gen­uine. ‘Re­morse­ful is an un­der­state­ment,’ said Mr. Maloney.

‘He was racked with guilt,’ said Mr. Maloney, adding that he im­me­di­ately ad­mit­ted to what he had done and had re­turned the money. ‘He ad­mits that he took ad­van­tage of ex­tremely vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple with whom he had a re­la­tion­ship of trust,’ said Mr. Maloney.

He said that his client had been in a fi­nan­cial busi­ness with his fa­ther who died four years ago. The death caused his re­lapse into ad­dic­tion to co­caine and al­co­hol.

The busi­ness col­lapsed, as did his 10-re­la­tion­ship with the mother of his two young chil­dren.

‘He has been sober for two months and is at­tend­ing NA and AA as well as main­tain­ing reg­u­lar con­tact with treat­ment cen­tres,’ said Mr. Maloney, adding that McGrath lives with his mother in the fam­ily home.

‘There was an in­ci­dent of self harm,’ said Mr. Maloney, ex­plain­ing that his client has at­tended One in Four to deal with past trau­matic events.

‘This gen­tle­man was a carer,’ said Judge Con­nel­lan, who was con­cerned as to who ap­proved him for that po­si­tion. ‘ Do they not go into the back­ground of peo­ple whom they would place in such a po­si­tion of care and au­thor­ity?’ he asked.

Judge Con­nel­lan put the mat­ter back to May 10 for the prepa­ra­tion of a pro­ba­tion re­port. ‘I haven’t fully de­cided on the penalty, but a penalty is ap­pro­pri­ate,’ he con­cluded.

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