Disgraced care worker walks free

A DISGRACED Antrim care worker convicted of ill-treating three vulnerable mental health patients walked free from court last week with combined probation and community service orders.

Setting aside her initial six-month jail term at Antrim County Court, Judge Geoffrey Millar QC instead sentenced 29-year-old Tracey Balantine to 100 hours’ community service and three years on probation.

Making clear the sentence was a ‘direct alternative’ to custody, he said it was designed to address Balantine’s ‘distorted thinking’ and mental health issues.

But Judge Millar warmed her that any breach or failure to comply and he would ‘have no hesitation...in imposing the custodial sentence’.

*Read the full story in this week’s Antrim Guardian

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