A 42-year old Latvian cleaner stole jewellery from her employer at her home as the woman’s sister lay dying in hospital, a court has heard.

At Ennis District Court today, Esther Murphy of Carrowbane House, Newmarket on Fergus, Co Clare told of the “seriously devastating effect” the thefts by Nadezda Krotova of Delacey Park, Shannon had on her and her family.

Mrs Murphy said that she was in a severe state of grief following the ‘devastating’ deaths of her mother and sister six weeks later last year.

In a victim impact statement delivered in court today, Mrs Murphy said that “while my sister lay dying in hospital, Nadia chose to steal their jewellery that had just been given to me – some heirlooms that are passed from generation to generation”.

Mrs Murphy said: “The time she chose to take this course of action was extremely cruel and heartless. I could not believe that this was happening.”

Mrs Murphy stated that Ms Krotova “had cultivated a person of someone who was warm, friendly and trustworthy. I frequently gave her dinner and she was always treated generously. In light of this, I found it hard to accept that she could carry out the thefts and particularly at such a vulnerable time for me and my family.

Mrs Murphy said that “the effects of this will have taken their toll. It resulted in a lot of sleepless nights, nightmares and stress. It got so bad I had to seek psychological support”.

Mrs Murphy said that “as far as I am concerned, the defendant’s course of action will affect me for the rest of my life. I did ask her to return the items. She completely denied she had taken any and showed no hint of remorse whatsoever. An apology would appear to be out of the question.”

Addressing her ex-cleaner directly, Mrs Murphy said: “Nadia – you were welcomed into my family and treated very well but the damage you have done and its consequences will live with me and my family for the remainder of our lives.”

In the case, Ms Krotova pleaded guilty to stealing a €500 gold chain from Mrs Murphy at her home on dates between November 1st 2020 and May 28th 2021 and stealing a €50 scarf on May 21st 2021.

Solicitor for Ms Krotova, John Casey said that his client wished to apologise to Mrs Murphy for the thefts. Sgt Louis Moloney said that the stolen property had been recovered.

Judge Mary Larkin adjourned the case to October for a Probation Report to be carried out on Ms Krotova with a view to finding out her suitability for community service and further remanded her on bail for sentencing.

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