A 42-year-old Latvian cleaner stole jewelry from her employer at her home when the woman’s sister was dying in hospital, a court has heard.
At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, Esther Murphy, of Carrowbane House, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare, told the “seriously devastating effect” Nadezda Krotova’s thefts of Delacey Park, Shannon, had on her and her family.
Ms Murphy said she was in a grave state of grief after the “devastating” deaths of her mother and sister six weeks later last year.
In a victim statement made in court on Wednesday, Ms. Murphy said that “while my sister lay dying in the hospital, Nadia chose to steal their jewelry that I had just received – some heirlooms that are passed down from generation to generation”.
Ms Murphy said: “The time she chose to take this course was extremely cruel and heartless. I couldn’t believe this was happening.”
Ms. Murphy said Ms. Krotova had “cultivated a person who was warm, kind and trustworthy. I fed her regularly and she was always treated generously. In light of this, I found it hard to accept that she could carry out the thefts and especially at such a vulnerable time for me and my family.
Ms Murphy said: “The effects of this will have taken their toll. It resulted in many sleepless nights, nightmares and stress. It got so bad that I had to seek psychological help.”
Mrs. Murphy said: “As far as I’m concerned, the defendant’s actions will affect me for the rest of my life. I asked her to return the items. She completely denied taking anything and showed no sign of remorse. Apologies seem out of the question.”
Mrs. Murphy addressed her ex-cleaning lady directly and said:
Ms Krotova pleaded guilty to stealing a €500 gold necklace from Ms Murphy from her home on dates between November 1, 2020 and May 28, 2021, and of stealing a €50 scarf on May 21, 2021.
Mrs. Krotova’s attorney John Casey said his client wanted to apologize to Mrs. Murphy for the thefts. Sergeant Louis Moloney said the stolen goods had been recovered.
Judge Mary Larkin adjourned the case until October to file a charge against Ms Krotova on the grounds of her fitness for community service, further sending her on bail pending sentencing.