Wednesday 21 March 2018

'Carer' stole €42,000 from mother after her sons were shot dead

Laura Pennick Picture: Collins Courts
Laura Pennick Picture: Collins Courts

Isabel Hayes

A grieving pensioner whose inheritance of €42,000 was stolen by her carer after her sons were shot dead has told a judge of the pain she suffered in the wake of the deception.

Marie McNally (67) jumped to her feet during the sentence hearing of her carer Laura Pennick at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday and asked Judge Melanie Greally for permission to speak, saying she was "bursting to say something".

Graham and Alan McNally
Graham and Alan McNally

"She took advantage of me when my sons were shot," Ms McNally told the court.

"She robbed me of every penny I had. She's a liar."

Ms McNally's son Alan was shot dead in the Cappagh Nua pub in Finglas, North Dublin, in 2012, three years after his older brother Graham was killed.

Pennick (30), of Bride Street, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to thefts totalling €41,935 from Marie McNally between January 2010 and December 2012.

Marie McNally Picture: Collins Courts
Marie McNally Picture: Collins Courts

The court previously heard that Pennick, a single mother-of-two, befriended Ms McNally when she was living two doors away from her in Finglas. Pennick became Ms McNally's "unofficial carer" and started collecting her pension and paying her bills. She had access to Ms McNally's ATM cards and two bank accounts, including one which contained the inheritance from the sale of her late mother's house.

Garda Colin Rourke said Pennick made a number of withdrawals ranging from "very small amounts up to €600".

She spent the money on "home improvements, fashion purchases, home furnishings and holidays", he said.

When questioned by gardaí following Ms McNally's discovery of the loss, Pennick said she had financial worries of her own. Damien Colgan SC, defending, said Pennick owed money at the time to "individuals" who made "real threats" against her. She had 29 previous convictions, five for theft.

Mr Colgan said Pennick had saved €1,100 for her victim and was willing to save €100 a week over the next year.

Judge Greally agreed to adjourn the matter to December 4 next year.

Irish Independent

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