Care home residents had wedding rings stolen by employee

A Portadown woman who stole wedding rings from residents of the care home where she worked was given suspended prison sentences on Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Imposing the sentences District Judge, Mr Alan White, described it as a “despicable” offence.

Thirty-three-year-old Janet Bunting, Princess Way, Portadown, admitted the theft of the two rings which happened between November 30, 2012 and January 29 last year.

For each offence she was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years.

She was also fined £100 on each of two charges of possession of a class B drug, methylmethcathinone, on January 28 last year.

The court heard that on January 28 police received a report from the Cheque Centre in Portadown that a woman had attempted to sell two gold rings.

They had been taken from two different female residents at the care home where Bunting worked.

When police searched her home they found two bags of white powder.

A barrister representing Bunting said it obviously was a breach of trust case and an aggravating feature was that it involved thefts from vulnerable people.

He added that the pre-sentence report showed that she understood this was viewed very seriously by the courts. “It is a nasty case,” he added.

He said that the defendant had worked at the home for a number of years. She was suspended from work and was probably going to lose her job.

Judge White said that stealing jewellery from vulnerable people was as serious as it gets in his view.

Describing it as a despicable offence he said it did cross the custody threshold but because of what was in the report he was just persuaded to suspend the sentences.