Family of Stevenage pensioner who had money stolen from her while she was dying from Alzheimer’s loses all faith in justice system after trial collapse

Jean Perry with her granddaughter.

Jean Perry with her granddaughter. - Credit: Archant

The family of a Stevenage pensioner who had hundreds of pounds stolen from her while she was dying from Alzheimer’s cannot believe the trial to discover the truth about what happened collapsed.

Jean Perry’s family were told on Monday that the trial involving a nurse accused of stealing money from the 83-year-old had collapsed because she was questioned by the police under duress.

Jean’s granddaughter Sarah Porter said: “My parents received a phone call on Monday to say: ‘Don’t bother turning up to court because it’s over.’ We couldn’t believe it.

“We have been through two years of hell waiting for this and for it to be taken away from us like this is disgraceful. It has made me lose all faith in the criminal justice system.”

When the family started noticing that money was going missing in 2012, they put it down to the Stevenage grandmother’s deteriorating condition.


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But when she moved Hobbs Court retirement home in April 2013 with very few possessions and the problem persisted, they decided to alert the police. After an investigation they charged one of Jean’s visiting nurses with theft.

The case was due to go to trial at Cambridge Crown Court last year but was delayed until this week.

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The defendant denied all the charges and was acquitted by a jury at Cambridge Crown Court on Monday after being directed by the judge, Recorder Cooper, to do so after he made a ruling on some of the prosecution evidence.

Jean passed away at Lister Hospital in December 2013 and the wait added to the stress on the family who had been hoping to finally learn what really happened.

Jean’s son-in-law Terry Mackrill said: “We’re absolutely devastated with what’s happened. We feel totally let down.

“My wife is in tears about it. Imagine if your mother had things stolen from her when she was in her home? How would you feel?

“You expect the courts to discover the truth but it’s collapsed because of a technicality – what kind of justice is that?”

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