Thursday, December 7, 2023

Woman who stole from father escapes jail term

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A woman who fleeced her elderly war veteran father of his life savings has escaped a jail sentence.

Carolyn Diane Alleyne, 65, was sentenced to 10 months electronically-monitored home detention at the Manukau District Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to five representative charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.

She admitted to stealing $150,000 from her father, Ron Greenhalgh, who was a World War II veteran.

Mr Greenhalgh was living in a retirement home after being diagnosed with dementia when Alleyne began using her power of attorney to access his bank accounts.

When the funds eventually ran out and Mr Greenhalgh’s payments to cover his retirement home began to fail, Alleyne moved her father out of the retirement home into her Pakuranga abode.

When Ron Greenhalgh died on Father’s Day 2016, his son described him as essentially “a homeless man”, living in donated clothes and with no money.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mike Greenhalgh described his sister’s offending as cold, callous and cruel — words Judge Mina Wharepouri echoed when handing down Alleyne’s sentence.

At an earlier sentencing indication, Judge Wharepouri had suggested a starting point of 3.5 years imprisonment but this was further reduced due to a guilty plea, previous good character and the payment of reparation to her brother.

Outside court, Mike Greenhalgh said he was relieved the ordeal was over but would have liked the sentence to be harsher.

“I just look at the sentence and wonder how much that would deter someone else from doing the same thing.

“At the end of the day, Dad’s gone, he was the victim in all of this and nothing will change that.”

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