No justice for my mum

Date published: 15 April 2014

Woman who fleeced gran already back on the streets
A WOMAN who stole half the life savings of a elderly woman who considered her a friend has been freed from prison only six weeks into a six-month sentence.

The family of victim Norma McGivern — who died days after her supposed friend was arrested — are disgusted she has been released with an electronic tag. They found out only when a friend spotted Jacqueline Carolan, of Oldham Road, Failsworth, around town.

Carolan (46) was jailed for six months at Manchester Crown Court on February 17 after pleading guilty to fraud, and was released on April 4.

The pair were introduced by Mrs McGivern’s daughter, Pam Bryan, and the trio even went on holiday abroad together.

Carolan discovered kind-hearted Mrs McGivern’s debit card pin number when she asked to borrow £100 for a holiday, and helped her to make the withdrawal at an ATM. She then regularly visited the mum-of-two, who lived alone in nearby Wesley Street, Failsworth, on the pretext of taking her dog for a walk.

But Carolan took the card from the elderly woman’s purse and withdrew up to £250 each time - stealing £1,870.

Mrs McGivern suffered a heart attack and fell downstairs at home in the early hours of December 5 - the day Carolan was arrested. She died after another heart attack five days later. The family believes the stress and betrayal contributed to her death.

Mrs Bryan said: “I knew she would only do three months — half her sentence — but this is disgusting.

“I don’t understand how it has happened. People get longer for not paying their council tax. Surely someone could have told us she had been released and told us why.”

Prisoners jailed for between a year and four years get automatic conditional release after serving half their sentence. They can be released with a tag and home detention curfew after serving a quarter of their sentence.

The Department of Justice declined to comment on an individual case