Carer stole €1,200 from elderly clients
PROBLEMS WITH ALCOHOL AND COCAINE
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.