Warrenpoint couple sentenced after £100,000 pensioner theft
A Warrenpoint couple who admitted trying to steal nearly £100,000 from an 84-year-old widow who suffers from Alzheimer’s have been handed a 12 month sentence suspended for three years.
Newry Times reported last week how James McPolin (46) and his wife Colleen (41) of Dallan View in Warrenpoint had admitted two counts of theft dating back to 2009 and 2010.
Armagh Crown Court heard how James McPolin took the pensioner – Beatrice Irvine – to a Newry-based building society where a cheque was written out to him for the sum of £46,000. Less than nine months later, Mr. McPolin’s wife Colleen took the victim to the same building society in the city centre, where another cheque for £50,000 was handed over.
The plot was exposed when vigilant staff at the building society became suspicious and refused to cash the cheque and called the police. After questioning by the PSNI, James McPolin denied trying to con the pensioner and insisted the cheque for £46,000 was a gift and that the cheque for £50,000 was for work on Mrs Irvine’s house. The police however, dismissed those claims and insisted that this work was never carried out. The court was told that to repay the stolen money, the couple had remortgaged their home and lodged cheques to the value of £46,000.
Passing the sentence, Judge Kevin Finnegan said that he was happy the pensioner’s money was fully recovered and that she could enjoy her remaining years in comfort. Stating his belief that the McPolins had ‘cast a shadow over their own innocent children and parents’ he said he wanted to ensure the Warrenpoint couple did not benefit financially from their crimes.
He concluded by commending the vigilance of staff at Nationwide Building Society in Newry.
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