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Sickening Woman jailed for four months for stealing over €2,700 from 90-year-old friend

The victim's son said in a victim impact statement that his mother no longer wears her engagement ring for fear it will be taken and often complains that her knitting and clothing have been stolen from her in the nursing home where she now lives.

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Lynda Goldsmith

Lynda Goldsmith

Collins

Lynda Goldsmith

A 65-year-old woman who stole her elderly friend's bank card while visiting her in hospital and stole more than €2,700 from the victim over three months has been jailed for four months

In the months before the 90-year-old victim's hospitalisation, Lynda Goldsmith began taking money from her bank account by getting cash back while she was buying groceries for her using her debit card.

She also took money from the woman's purse which was in a drawer in the woman's bedroom. It has never been determined how much cash Goldsmith stole from the woman's purse but she told gardaí in interview that she thinks she stole “maybe about €400 or €500”.

Goldsmith had been friends with the woman for 18 months and brought her to church services and a church lunch every Friday in their local parish in Taney, Dundrum.

She also accompanied the woman to her local newsagents to buy chocolate and the Radio Times and other groceries.

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Thief Lynda Goldsmith, who took the money from a purse and account, talks with Sunday
World’s Patrick O’Connell

Thief Lynda Goldsmith, who took the money from a purse and account, talks with Sunday World’s Patrick O’Connell

Thief Lynda Goldsmith, who took the money from a purse and account, talks with Sunday World’s Patrick O’Connell

On occasion the victim would be outside the shop in Goldsmith's car while Goldsmith did the shopping for her.

Goldsmith of Broadford Park, Ballinteer, Dublin 16 pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four charges of stealing cash and one of theft of an ATM card which were a representative sample of 31 thefts between January 16, 2019 and April 4, 2019.

The court heard that after she stole the woman's card from her in hospital, Goldsmith accepted €70 from the woman's son, which she claimed the woman owed her in petrol money for taking her to church services.

Goldsmith has a previous conviction for stealing from a woman's purse while the victim was shopping in December 2015. She also received an adult caution for stealing €700 from a family while was working as a childminder in March and April 2007.

Judge Pauline Codd today noted that the total taken using the ATM card was in the region of €2,750 and that the total sum stolen from the woman's handbag was unquantified.

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Lynda Goldsmith

Lynda Goldsmith

Collins

Lynda Goldsmith

She said it was significantly aggravating that Goldsmith stole from the victim while she was on her sick bed in hospital and the fact that she had memorised the woman's PIN while watching her use it showed premeditation to steal from her.

The judge said Goldsmith had befriended an elderly lady and took advantage of her trust.

Judge Codd took into account in mitigation Goldsmith's guilty plea, her admissions, ill health, remorse and personal circumstances. She noted Goldsmith had a history of depression and that she had suffered a loss of reputation through her own actions.

Judge Codd imposed an 18 month sentence and suspended the final 14 months. She said Goldsmith should undergo 14 months probation supervision and should not occupy any unsupervised role as a volunteer carer.

The victim's son said in a victim impact statement that his mother no longer wears her engagement ring for fear it will be taken and often complains that her knitting and clothing have been stolen from her in the nursing home where she now lives. She sleeps with her handbag under her pillow.

He also stated that Goldsmith made a €2 transaction on his mother's card in the hospital while his mother was lying there sick in bed.

The man concluded his statement by saying that his mother was “a vulnerable elderly woman simply looking for a friend” and said Goldsmith's actions represented “theft of her security and trust”.

Detective Garda Barry Brennan told Gráinne O'Neill BL, prosecuting, that it was first noticed that money had been taken from the woman's account when she was in hospital recovering from a fall and noticed that her bank card was missing.

Her son ultimately cancelled the bank card when he discovered a number of unauthorised transactions in her bank account.

Det Gda Brennan said Goldsmith admitted in a garda interview that she stole the cash because she felt her pension didn't go very far and said “I thought it would be nice to have a bit of money”.

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