WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 6:10PM UPDATE: Two sisters who stole almost half a million dollars from their grandmother were jailed for 15 months today.
Lorraine Smith,46 and Audra-Ann Bean, 44, were convicted in April of stealing the money from Lenice Tucker. They were also convicted of senior abuse.
The sisters were ordered to pay back more than $380,000 to their grandmother Lenice Tucker.
During sentencing, Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves said: “Good people turn bad a little piece at a time.”
In a victim impact statement read by Crown counsel Garrett Byrne, Ms Tucker described the stress and health problems this incident has caused her, including shingles and loss of appetite.
She also wrote how Belco had threatened to cut her electricity supply because she couldn’t pay for it.
“She talks about the embarrassment she’s experienced having to rely on friends and family members when before, she was independent.”
The statement also said Tucker’s Villa, the family home where Ms Tucker lives, has fallen into disrepair because she has no money for its upkeep.
“They’ve left me a very, very depressed person.
“Many days I don’t even want to come outdoors.
“I cry a lot and most days I want to stay in my bed.”
Smith, 46 and Bean, 44 apologised to the court, their families and Ms Tucker.
Mr Greaves said greed played a part in Smith and Bean’s actions.
“Suddenly, Bean, you could move into an expensive apartment next to your sister.
“Suddenly, you could go on vacation and buy shoes from every shoe shop.
“Suddenly, your hair was done and your nails polished.
He continued: “Suddenly Smith, you can pay all your arrears for you expensive school for your children that couldn’t be paid before.
“And you could suddenly be so generous that you could give substantial loans to other people.
“Suddenly, your sister couldn’t ride a cycle anymore, she had to get a car.
“What brought about such a sudden change? Death and bounty.
“There was so much money, your eyes gazed open like a full moon and bathed your futures with light.”
Mr Greaves continued: “No more suffering. Your good side became the dark side.
“That’s what happened. Even if there were good intentions.”
During the trial, the court heard Ms Tucker inherited some $540,000 from her sister Lesseline when she died in July 2010.
Before she passed, Lesseline added Ms Tucker to her bank accounts.
Days after her death, Smith, a mother-of-four and Bean, a mother-of-one, took Ms Tucker to HSBC and Butterfield Bank under the impression that she would be signing up for a debit card on July 20.
Instead, they opened new bank accounts at both banks in all three names.
On October 8, Smith and Bean moved $354,380 from the HSBC account and $102,504 from Butterfield into two new accounts in their names only.
Smith and Bean, both Seventh-Day Adventists, left Ms Tucker with $200.
The offences took place between July 2010 and January 2011.
Smith was sentenced to four months for stealing $14,000 to pay her daughter’s school fees at Bermuda Institute, one month for stealing $1,000, three months for stealing $8,000 to loan to a friend, three months for stealing $3,600 and two months for stealing $2,000.
Bean was given four months for stealing $7,000.
Together, the sisters were jailed for nine months for taking $102,504 from Butterfield Bank and 15 months for taking $354,380 from HSBC.
Finally, they were also given 15 months for senior abuse.
All sentences are to run concurrent.
The total amount taken was $464,279 and $78,433 was paid to settle the estate of Lesseline Tucker to Appleby.
The sisters must pay back the remaining $385,845.