Heather Powell had been looking after a property for Joy and Gerry Melville Watson for over nine years. She was provided with a set of keys for the two bedroomed apartment which she held purely on the basis of providing a clean on its vacation by the Watsons and in case of an emergency, should it occur while the Scottish couple were back at their home in Dundee.
The one thing that she wasn’t entitled to do was to rent the apartment out to holidaymakers, a move that the owners were quite clearly against, in case of wear, tear and damage to the property that they had saved up so hard to afford.
But that is exactly what she had been doing, and cheating them out of thousands of euros in the process, as she pocketed the cash by renting it out behind their back.
Powell, who was previously jailed in 2004 for four months for stealing almost £5000 from her best friend, was meant only to clean and to look after the apartment but after Joy was approached by a neighbour during a holiday last summer, whilst sunning herself beside the pool, she was told that her flat was regularly being secretly sub let by holidaymakers who were being let in and out by Heather Powell..
The outraged owners decided that husband Gerry would make a surprise visit later in the year at which time he walked into his apartment to find a wardrobe full of clothes, as well as food, drink and two Irish passports lying on the lounge table.
“The whole episode has left me absolutely fuming,” Joy said. “It was only when Gerry paid his surprise visit that we discovered the ugly truth. I would hate to think how many thousands of euros we have been cheated of.”
“We trusted Heather because she was so nice and went to a great deal of bother to gain our trust. I am wondering how much she has ripped us off in the nine years she has had our keys.”