Leading psychic’s sister has care home fraud conviction quashed

Both Patrick Doak and Bridgene Kelly worked at the Owenvale Court residential home
Both Patrick Doak and Bridgene Kelly worked at the Owenvale Court residential home

The sister of a high-profile psychic has won her appeal against being found guilty of fraud offences at a care home.

Senior judges quashed Bridgene Kelly’s convictions for false accounting and forgery within the former Owenvale Court residential home in Belfast.

They had already declared unsafe the guilty verdict returned against her 52-year-old brother, the spiritualist Patrick Doak, in the same case.

The charges, involving less than £100 in total, dated back to September 2006 when both worked in the Springfield Road facilities run at the time by St John of God.

Mr Doak, formerly of Lagmore Meadows in Dunmurry, was manager, while his 56-year-old sister, with an address at Linden Gardens in north Belfast, had been a carer.

At the time money was regularly entrusted to senior staff on behalf of residents in the home.

Earlier this month Mr Doak’s lawyers successfully argued that he was wrongly found to have acted dishonestly in dealing with new balance sheets created to correct staff errors.

The Court of Appeal heard new evidence from a residential worker who counter-signed the sheets but never testified at the trial.

At that stage the prosecution accepted her account raised issues which could potentially have gone before the jury.

Mr Doak, who helped set up the International Spiritualist Union and ran the Centre of Angels complex on the Falls Road, had received a one-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

But his convictions were overturned due to the former colleague’s testimony.

Following that outcome lawyers for Ms Kelly returned to court to challenge guilty verdicts against her which resulted in fines of £400 being imposed last year.

With the prosecution not contesting her appeal, the panel of judges based their decision largely on written submissions.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan confirmed Ms Kelly’s convictions were also to be quashed.