Kettering carer who stole thousands from vulnerable victims will pay back just £1

"He's got off scot-free"

By Sam Wildman
Friday, 5th June 2020, 6:00 am
Matthew McGrady.
Matthew McGrady.

A despicable Kettering carer who stole thousands from vulnerable men who trusted him will have to pay back just £1.

Matthew McGrady, 47, avoided prison by the skin of his teeth in February after a judge decided not to jail him because of his own "catastrophic" health problems.

One of his victims was partially-sighted and the other required care 365 days a year but crooked McGrady, of Holly Road, decided to pocket their cash.

Yesterday (Thursday) a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing held virtually at Northampton Crown Court because of the coronavirus crisis heard he had had benefited from £18,069.76 through his illegal actions. An earlier court case heard none of the money had been recovered and it was not known how he had spent it.

With no assets the court heard yesterday he could only pay back a nominal amount - and judge Rupert Mayo made a confiscation order for him to pay back just £1. If he doesn't pay £1 within a month he will be sentenced to one day in prison by default.

Speaking after the Proceeds of Crime Act hearing a former colleague of McGrady, who did not want to be named, said he had "got away with it".

They said: "It's absolutely appalling. He has received no punishment for his horrific crimes. The effect it had one these two vulnerable gentlemen I cannot put into words.

"They thought he was their friend and trusted him. When they were told that he had left his job and what he had done the knock-on effect was so tragic.

"Their needs have not been taken into consideration. It's all been about McGrady, his health the impact prison would have on him.

"He has completely got away with it. He's got off scot-free."

At his sentencing in February, Northampton Crown Court heard McGrady's 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.

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 when cheques from a second victim were made payable to the carer. He 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.

He was initially interviewed in 2014 and charged in 2016 - but because he denied the crimes until changing his plea in 2020 his victims had to wait years for justice to be served.

Because of his own 'catastrophic' cardiac and leg problems suffered since his crimes McGrady, who used crutches to walk into the dock, 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's two-year prison spell was suspended for two years and he was ordered to wear a tag.