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Monday, 16th November 2020

Man pleads guilty to stealing €22k from Julianstown care home residents

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Trusted staff member, “one of the family”, to be sentenced tomorrow

A care worker who last week pleaded guilty to stealing over €22,000 from vulnerable residents in a care facility in Julianstown is to be sentenced tomorrow.

Edwin Gall (51) from Grangerath in Drogheda pleaded guilty and was convicted at Trim Circuit Court to stealing a total of €22,144 from nine residents of Barden Lodge in Julianstown on dates between March 2016 and February 2017.

The facility, which is operated by St. Joseph's Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Services in Portrane, caters for 11-13 adult residents with intellectual disabilities providing 24 hour care.

Gall, who was a trusted staff member at the facility and even referred to by some residents as “one of the family”, assisted residents by withdrawing money from their cash machines.

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It emerged in court however that he pocketed some of the cash for his own use which included paying his Sky and Netflix bills and to buy clothes and shoes.

In a victim impact statement read out in court the family of one resident at the facility described how they had put their trust in the HSE to look after their mother 17 years ago but now felt betrayed and will never again have the same trust in the system.

Speaking on the profound effect it had on them, one family member said: “You leave someone so vulnerable in the capable hands of professionals who are meant to care and instead this happens, it’s disgusting.” 

The court heard that since the scam had been uncovered the HSE had refunded the residents for their losses. Judge Martina Baxter remanded Gall in custody until November 17th for sentencing.

When contacted The HSE said they would not comment at this stage but encouraged any relative with a query relating to the care of a resident to contact them directly.

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