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breach of trust Minder who stole money from 93-year-old who was in her care avoids jail

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A CARE worker who stole nearly €200 from a vulnerable 93-year-old woman who was in her care has avoided a custodial sentence after she paid back the money and made a ‘heartfelt apology’, a court has heard.

Judge Cephas Power told Melissa Davitt (46) that “ordinarily a custodial sentence would follow” for the breach of trust she committed.

But, because of the apology and paying back the money, the judge said he is “satisfied she is going to suffer significantly from her offending” as she will lose her job. The judge gave her the benefit of Section 1.1 of the Probation Act.

Davitt stole a total of €195 over a six-week period from the 93-year-old woman while she was caring for her in the victim’s own home, Balbriggan District Court heard.

The defendant, of The Square, Riverbank in Drogheda, Co Louth pleaded guilty to the theft of the money between August 1, 2020 and September 5, 2020 at the elderly person’s home in north County Dublin.

She has no previous convictions.

Sergeant Patricia McGarrity gave evidence the thefts were reported to gardai at 6.30pm on December 14, 2020.

“The victim is 93-years of age,” said Sgt McGarrity. “And no-one ele had access to the house at the time, only the defendant.”

The court heard the injured party did not wish to make a Victim Impact Statement.

Defence solicitor Fiona Kelly said Ms Davitt will lose her job as a carer as a result of her actions.

“There is a back story to it all,” said Ms Kelly, explaining the defendant’s mother passed away and Ms Davitt was being evicted from the house as the house was being sold.

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“All this happened at the same time,” said Ms Kelly, adding the defendant began drinking and had been rendered homeless because of the house sale.

A Probation Report was handed into court where the defendant recognised her offending behaviour.

Judge Power remarked that the aggravating feature was that the defendant was a carer for the victim who was vulnerable.

“She (the defendant) was trusted and ordinarily a custodial sentence would automatically follow for such an aggravating factor,” the judge said.

“But, because she paid back the money and wrote a heartfelt letter of apology, I can only hope the victim takes some comfort from that apology which was made to the gardai and the court,” Judge Power said, applying the Probation Act.

“I hope I won’t see you back here again,” the judge told the defendant.

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