Published Friday, 13 December 2013
Ms Boyd was jailed on Friday. (© Pacemaker)
As well as the jail term, Judge David Smyth QC ordered Lesley Boyd to spend a further year on supervised licence.
He told the disgraced care worker that the public interest demanded a jail term to protect the most vulnerable members of our society but that he was taking account of the fact that Boyd will lose her home to pay back the monies she used to improve it.
Lesley Dorothea Helen Boyd, 56, from Chippendale Avenue in Bangor, Co Down, had admitted six counts of fraud in relation to the writing of six bank cheques from the account of Cecil McAllister that totalled more than £61,000.
The cheques were drawn in 2009 and 2010.
Boyd also pleaded guilty to the theft of £44,000 belonging to Mr McAllister who had since died at the age of 93.
Prosecuting lawyer Sam Magee said while it was not the Crown case that Boyd "schemed or planned to defraud this man...this was a carer who knew where the line was drawn and overstepped it by a very large margin."
He told the court how the offences were uncovered by Stephen Mullan, a great-nephew of Mr McAllister when he was granted power of attorney over his financial affairs and discovered that "large sums of money had been withdrawn by cheques on little over a year".
Mr Mullan had previously offered to look after his great-uncle's affairs but his offer was refused because as Jock, as he was known, put it, "he had someone called Lesley who was helping him".
The message that has to be taken from this case is that if it happened to Jock it can happen to anyone.
Stephen Mullan, great nephew of Cecil McAllister
He recounted how the pensioner and his wife Nan had been residents in Sunnyside care home in Bangor where Boyd worked and that within a month of Mrs McAllister passing away in March 2009, Jock had written her a cheque for £5,000.
Describing the elderly couple as "meticulous, regimented people," the lawyer said Mr Mullan discovered that his great uncle had written a total of seven cheques, all to Boyd's benefit amounts to a total of £113,000.
It was only when Boyd accepted the cheque that her relationship with Jock "became inappropriate and crossed the boundary into "criminality" said Mr Magee adding that it was accepted that at all times Boyd had given proper physical care to both Jock and his wife.
He said it was further accepted that Jock could be a "difficult resident at Sunnyside" as he had a "fondness for alcohol" and it had come to the attention of the homes management that Jock wanted to give money to "his Lesley".
Mr Magee said Boyd was spoken to and received training in the appropriateness of relationships between staff and their patients with the rule being that staff "could not even accept £20 in a Christmas card" let alone the vast sums she accepted.
Speaking outside the court Jock's great-nephew Mr Mullen said while he was relieved that the case had come to a resolution, "there is absolutely no winners here".
"Those in a position of caring position need to go above and beyond to make sure that they're safeguarding the people that they're looking after, that's really the key message there today," Mr Mullen said.
When asked how he felt about Mrs Boyd, he said while he held no ill feelings, he added: "I feel sorry that she's put herself in this position".
© UTV News