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Care worker who stole woman's life savings jailed

Michael Harrington took €6,200 from a 71-year-old by convincing her to invest in a business that didn’t exist.

A CARE WORKER in a Co Clare nursing home has been jailed for eight months after being found guilty of deceiving a 71-year-old woman who lived there out of her life savings of €6,200.

Michael Harrington (25) told Teresa Gribbins he wanted money to help get his exporting business of the ground, being unable to get a loan from his bank, and promised her a good return on her investment.

He had texted her to tell her he had contracts “in the pipeline” and was in contact with an accountant.

Harrington knew Gribbins had money to spare, as she had recently received a settlement from the Redress Board, according to RTÉ. She had invested over €60,000 in total in Harrington’s “business”.

It had later transpired, however, that Harrington had no business contacts or accountant, and had been using the money to fund his lifestyle.

The scam had come to light after Gribbins’ direct debit payment to the nursing home failed on two successive months.

“It was a nightmare to me… people are not what they seem. You have to be careful who you trust,” Gribbins said after the hearing.

Describing the case as one of the most appalling cases of deception he had ever presided over, Judge Tom O’Donnell sentenced Harrington to eight months in jail. Harrington will appeal to the Circuit Court.

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