Niece accused of using pensioner’s bank card to steal her life savings

Woman said card could only be used to draw her weekly pension, court is told

A 75-year-old woman’s lifesavings were stolen by a niece to whom she gave her bank card number

to withdraw her weekly pension, a court in Co Mayo has heard.

At the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar, Maureen Kelly from St Patrick's Estate, Ballina, said that when giving her ATM card to Loretta Hopkins, she stipulated it could only be used on Fridays to withdraw €200 which was to be handed over to her.

However, Ms Kelly told Judge Rory MacCabe and a jury she went to gardaí in March 2014 after discovering there was only €181 left in her account.


The accused, who is also from St Patrick's Estate, is pleading not guilty to each of 140 charges of theft from her aunt's bank account at the AIB branch in Ballina, between July 2011 and January 2014.

The amounts were allegedly taken on a weekly basis from outlets in Ballina including ATM machines and varied from €20 to €400.

Bank statements showed purchases from a number of shops in Ballina which the victim said she never frequented. Patrick Reynolds, counsel for the State, said at the opening of the trial yesterday there would also be evidence the defendant had asked the postman to deliver Ms Kelly's post to her so the victim would not see her bank balance.

The trial is continuing.