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Disabled woman felt ‘betrayed’ by lawyer, court heard

Kirsten Badenduck (Photograph from Facebook)

A quadriplegic woman told police she felt “betrayed” by a lawyer accused of dishonestly taking more than $80,000 from her.

In a videotaped police interview, recorded at her home in 2017, Kirsten Badenduck told officers she had not given Nancy Vieira permission to make cash withdrawals from her bank account.

Ms Badenduck added that she had also never asked Ms Vieira for copies of her bank statements.

“I was too trustworthy,” she said. “I just didn’t believe that anybody was going to rip me off.”

Ms Badenduck said in the video played in Supreme Court yesterday that she had loaned Ms Vieira $50,000 to help her secure a junior partnership at the firm MacLellan and Associates.

She added: “She never showed me a copy of the promissory note. She told me she had made a promissory note. She never left a copy for me.”

The senior complained that while Ms Vieira was supposed to manage her affairs, she had failed to pay her caregivers on time, pay for their social insurance or renew one of the caregiver’s work permits.

Ms Badenduck told police that she did not want Ms Vieira to be charged criminally, but asked if she might receive some disciplinary action under the abuse of seniors legislation.

Asked about her desire not to pursue criminal charges, she said she did not want to go to court and added: “My memory isn’t so good.”

The court was also read a written statement by Ms Badenduck’s doctor, who confirmed that she had her “full mental capacity” up until her death in 2019 and had no cognitive impairments when she gave the police interview in 2017.

Ms Vieira, from Pembroke, has denied charges that she dishonestly obtained a $50,000 money transfer from Ms Badenduck between January and July 2016.

She has further denied allegations that she stole $28,615 from Ms Badenduck through unauthorised ATM withdrawals and $7,601 through unauthorised debit card transactions between August 2015 and October 2016.

Prosecutors have alleged that Ms Vieira had falsely told Ms Badenduck she required a $50,000 loan to cover a “buy-in” and become a partner at MacLellan and Associates, where she had worked.

Jaqueline MacLellan, head of the firm, told the court earlier that she had never discussed the possibility of partnership with Ms Vieira and had no interest in such.

She added that she had no idea Ms Vieira had been granted power of attorney over the senior or obtained the $50,000 loan until she was contacted by Ms Badenduck in November 2016.

The trial continues.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.