'Disgraceful' Kettering carer stole from vulnerable men

He was spared jail

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 6:00 am

A Kettering carer stole £16,000 from vulnerable men he was supposed to be looking after - but was spared jail because of health problems.

Matthew McGrady, 47, admitted fraud by abuse of position and theft after the breaches of trust which were described as "disgraceful" by a judge.

One of his victims was partially-sighted and the other required care 365 days a year. Both were in their 60s and yesterday (Friday) Northampton Crown Court heard he simply took their money.

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Matthew McGrady stole from vulnerable men he was supposed to be caring for. Right, McGrady outside court.

But because of his own 'catastrophic' cardiac and leg problems suffered since his crimes McGrady, of Holly Road, was not sent to prison.

Judge Adrienne Lucking said: "People who take money from people who they are caring for would normally go to prison.

"But for your very serious medical condition that's exactly where you would be going today.

"You should be utterly ashamed of your behaviour."

McGrady, who used crutches to walk into the dock, was due to face a trial in April but changed his plea last month.

Prosecutor Robert Underwood said his first victim had come into some inheritance and had been issued a cash card by his bank.

The bank became concerned about how frequently the card was being used between 2013 and 2014 and an investigation was launched.

Mr Underwood said: "A manager made enquiries and looked into his accounts. Clearly, her concerns were justifiable."

Transactions were being made when McGrady was supposedly looking after him and staff at his employers, Kettering-based Active Support Service, decided to look into other service users who had contact with him.

That's when they found evidence of further crimes.

It soon became 'obvious', Mr Underwood said, that a second victim 'fell prey' to the carer when cheques were made payable to him.

The carer was later suspended.

When interviewed by police McGrady said the victim would lend him money when he was hard up and that he would sign the cheque for him.

He told police he did use the other victim's cash card but would give him the money once he had withdrawn it.

Mr Underwood said: "That's clearly false."

The cash card victim lost a total of £7,400 and the cheques victim lost £9,097.31. None of the money was ever recovered and the court did not hear how McGrady had spent it.

The disgraced carer was interviewed in 2014 but not charged until June 2016. Because he originally denied his crimes it took almost six years for justice to be served.

Mitigating, Daniel Green said McGrady had concerns about a prison spell because of his health condition which required daily treatment.

Judge Adrienne Lucking suspended McGrady's two-year prison spell for two years and told him he will have an electronic curfew for six months and must take part in rehabilitation activities.

She warned him he would be jailed if he failed to meet the requirements.

She said: "I will send you to prison, medical condition or not."

Andrea Adams was the registered manager at Active Support Service when McGrady worked there. She left in 2016. Speaking after sentencing, she described his punishment as "appalling".

She said the victims were not invited to make a victim impact statement, meaning the court did not hear how it had affected them

She said: "They trusted this man and one saw him as a friend.

"I think it (the sentence) is appalling. I felt the court only took into consideration McGrady's health issues.

"They did not consider the victims and the impact on them, their families or the care workers who worked alongside him at the time.

"Today he was not punished. He has a curfew but he cannot go anywhere anyway because of his legs.

"That's his punishment and we have to swallow it."

Active Support Service has been contacted for comment.