Woman who stole from mom is spared jail
A woman who dishonestly took $21,500 from her mother’s bank account was spared jail after Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner heard about her mental health difficulties.
Helene Sutcliffe, 57, of St George’s, felt she was owed emotionally and financially by her 77-year-old mother after looking after her for many years, Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday.
Prosecutor Auralee Cassidy said the 15 dishonesty offences Sutcliffe admitted committing between March and July last year were made worse by the fact she was in a position of trust over a sick elderly relative.
Ms Cassidy described the mother as powerful, and said of Sutcliffe: “She appears unapologetic and shows no remorse.”
Defence lawyer Leo Mills described the case as sad and tragic, noting Sutcliffe had suffered mental health problems for 30 years.
“This was a misguided attempt by her to try to rectify what she considered to have been an improper relationship with her mother,” said Mr Mills.
Mr Warner, who acknowledged the defendant’s early guilty plea, said: “There seems to be a long-standing feud, with bad blood between she and her mother regarding what was owed emotionally or financially.
“A very important personal circumstance is that the psychiatrist’s report clearly shows there’s a history of mental illness over a number of years, that she is bipolar and receives treatment at MAWI (Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute).
“I find that there are special reasons that I should suspend the immediate term of imprisonment.”
Mr Warner gave her a two-year prison sentence, suspended for 36 months, and a three-year probation order.
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