A 62-year-old former social worker was today given a suspended jail sentence for fleecing two elderly women in her care of £11,000.
Callous Sellagh Moiseiwitsch stole the cash - including inheritance money - from the two frail pensioners' bank accounts while they were living at Minnowburn House nursing home in Belfast.
Moiseiwitsch admitted a total of 34 charges for theft, false accounting and forgery.
Belfast Crown Court judge Peter Gibson told her that it was only her age and heart condition that saved her from going to jail.
He imposed a two year prison sentence suspended for three years, and ordered that she pay £5,000 compensation.
"I do not intend to sentence a person of this age to immediate imprisonment where there is a substantial risk of her death," said the judge.
Moiseiwitsch, from Knocktern Gardens, Belfast, stole the money between December 1985 and July 1989.
Judge Gibson said she had been devious and abused her position as a social worker to steal from the two elderly women.
Part of the cash that Moiseiwitsch rifled from the accounts included part of a £6,000 inheritance one of the women had received from Australia. The woman has since died.
Moiseiwitsch, claiming she was the woman, opened a bank account in her name and over the years withdrew nearly everything from the account.
She was exposed when a relative of the old woman began an inquiry into her affairs at the nursing home.
In the case of the second victim in Moiseiwitsch's care, she had received nearly 30,000 pounds as the result of the death of her husband and daughter.
Moiseiwitsch's ploy was to get her to withdraw more money than was necessary for her to pay her expenses at the nursing home.
On other occasions she would withdraw money from the woman's account on her behalf, and again pocket the difference.
[I believe that Mrs. Moiseiwitsch was a care worker under the supervision of Dr. Lyons and Dr. Lyons was the psychiatrist in charge of my mentally-handicapped brother Freddie. Mrs. Moiseiwitsch visited Freddie's home. In fact and in my presence, Dr. Lyons and Mrs. Moiseiwitsch came to 4 Norwood Gardens together on one occasion and both of them went around every room in the house together. Like Mrs. Moiseiwitsch and Herbert Wright, there are many more people involved in Freddie's affairs who have yet to face the justice of the Courts. I believe that Dr. Lyons was an alcoholic as was another woman appointed by Mr. Hall to 'look after' Freddie.]