A HOME-help nurse who stole almost €10,000 from a 92-year-old man she was caring for has been given a three-year sentence.
Fiona Mubango (26) has had her case adjourned several times over the past month to allow her come up with compensation.
However yesterday, Cathal McGreal, defending, told the court: "There is no money and the court has been more then patient and open-minded in relation to this matter."
Mubango gave several excuses to the court for not coming up with compensation.
On one occasion she told the court that she had sold her car but her father had the money. Last week she claimed her brother had a bank draft for the compensation but that he was arrested on the morning of her hearing on an unrelated matter.
Mubango, of New Haven Bay, Balbriggan, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing from Patrick McDonald by using two of his credit cards at shops and ATMs between May and July 2008. €2,000 in cash was also taken from the victim's house.
The losses amounted to €9,657. She has two previous convictions, also for theft.
Judge Katherine Delahunt told her: "You have sought to make fools of the court and your counsel" and imposed a three-year sentence.
Judge Delahunt noted that Mubango had not used the money to buy necessities.
"You had aspirations of a lifestyle beyond your economic capabilities," she said.
She said it was a "callous and heinous crime" and added she was surprised that someone with Mubango's convictions could find herself in such a position of trust.
Garda Kate Brennan told Remy Farrell, prosecuting, that Mr McDonald had surgery in 2008 and that Mubango and another carer were hired to assist him while he recovered.
Mr McDonald kept two credit cards in his north Dublin home. While working there Mubango took one of them and began using it to make online purchases such as spending €360 at Topshop.ie and €350 at an electrical appliances site.
She ordered these under a false name and had them delivered to Mr McDonald's home while she was working there.