BRISTOL - A Meriden woman, suspected by police to have stolen from a Bristol man with dementia, was denied a first-time offender program on Thursday after hearing emotional testimony from the victim’s daughter.
Dawn Bailey, 50, allegedly went into a 90-year-old man’s apartment on Dec. 18 and, once she realized cameras had been installed, destroyed the devices, according to the warrant for her arrest. State prosecutors on Thursday said they believe she had been stealing from the man over a period of time, although she does not face larceny charges.
“In my opinion, this woman is the epitome of a con artist,” the victim’s daughter said Thursday, in Bristol Superior Court.
“Clearly this woman has no conscience,” the daughter continued, adding that her father is “the most important person in my life.”
After fighting off tears for several minutes while speaking in open court, the daughter turned to Bailey, who was separated only by her attorney, and asked how she would feel if someone had taken advantage of one of her loved ones.
According to the five-page warrant, the victim suffers dementia and lives in the Riverview Apartment Complex, at 171 Laurel St., which is a gated community primarily for the elderly. During the investigation, the victim’s daughter told police she suspected someone had been stealing money from him. She usually gave him about $25 a week and, between July and December last year, he called her frequently in the beginning of the week and said he had already run out of money.
The daughter found this odd, as lunch in the housing complex only cost $2.50 a day. This led the woman to install cameras in her father’s unit. In the overnight hours on Dec. 18, a suspect was seen entering the unit and calling to the resident by name. Upon seeing the cameras, the suspect then destroyed the devices. The footage from the incident was saved despite the cameras being damaged.
The elderly man’s daughter viewed the footage and believed the suspect may have been Bailey, who was an employee for the home care company that served the 90-year-old man. The daughter estimated that about $200 had been stolen in about six months.
When police spoke to Bailey, she admitted she had gone into the elderly man’s apartment on Dec. 18, the warrant said. However, she told police she knew the man from when she served him as an aide, and that she was visiting him on her own free time. Bailey, the warrant continued, denied stealing money from the man.
Ronald Dearstyne, state prosecutor, who also objected to Bailey using a first-time offender program, noted Thursday that police sought to charge Bailey with larceny and first-degree burglary. Another prosecutor, Dearstyne said, chose not to pursue a larceny charge and was only willing to agree to a burglary charge in the third degree - a lesser offense. Bailey faces charges of faces charges of third-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief.
In denying her program request, Judge John Cronan said he believes first-time offender programs are for defendants who make snap decisions that they later regret. In his opinion, Cronan said, they are not intended for those who displayed a pattern of illegal behavior over a period of time.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.