A woman who filmed her brother putting laxatives in her milk in an attempt to get her to leave the family home has spoken out about his ‘disgusting’ actions for the first time.

When Sharon, 63, noticed a chemical smell in her milk, she rigged up a secret camera in their home in Bury, Greater Manchester, which captured Robert McCabe, 69, slipping powder into the carton.

McCabe pleaded guilty earlier this week at Manchester’s Minshull St Crown Court to maliciously administering a noxious thing to annoy, injure or aggrieve, under the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861. 

Despite not being particularly close with her sibling, the malice behind Robert’s actions ‘shocked’ Sharon ‘to the core’. 

Now, the mother-of-three has revealed that she is ‘saddened’ and ‘disgusted’ by her brother, who ‘who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the family money’. 

Sharon (pictured) has revealed that she is 'saddened' and 'disgusted' by her brother, who 'who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the family money'

Sharon (pictured) has revealed that she is 'saddened' and 'disgusted' by her brother, who 'who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the family money'

Sharon (pictured) has revealed that she is ‘saddened’ and ‘disgusted’ by her brother, who ‘who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the family money’ 

She said: ‘Robert and I were not especially close, but we shared a home. I was shocked to the core to find out he was tampering my food.

‘There was a strong chemical smell in my milk, which was what first alerted me. I set up a secret fridge in my bedroom, and we rigged up a secret camera in the kitchen.

‘Each morning, I made my porridge as normal in the kitchen, and kept a sample of the fridge milk, so that Robert would think I was using it. Then, I took the porridge up to my bedroom and ate it in there using the milk from my secret fridge.

‘It saddens and disgusts me that he would go to such lengths to get me out of our family home.  But at least the world can now see him for what he is – a man who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the family money.’

Sharon was one of 10 siblings and her mother, Sarah Alice McCabe, was widowed when Sharon was just nine months old.

Sharon added: ‘My dad was killed in a road accident when I was a baby and Mum brought us all up on her own. The tragedy didn’t bring us closer together as a family and Robert and I had our differences.’

Richard McCabe (pictured) pleaded guilty earlier this week at Manchester's Minshull St Crown Court to maliciously administering a noxious thing to annoy, injure or aggrieve, under the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861

Richard McCabe (pictured) pleaded guilty earlier this week at Manchester's Minshull St Crown Court to maliciously administering a noxious thing to annoy, injure or aggrieve, under the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861

Richard McCabe (pictured) pleaded guilty earlier this week at Manchester’s Minshull St Crown Court to maliciously administering a noxious thing to annoy, injure or aggrieve, under the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861

According to Sharon, she was never particularly close with Robert - but this has still 'shocked' her 'to the core'

According to Sharon, she was never particularly close with Robert - but this has still 'shocked' her 'to the core'

According to Sharon, she was never particularly close with Robert – but this has still ‘shocked’ her ‘to the core’ 

Sharon left home and went on to have three sons and worked in a chip shop, owned by her brother Dennis, and later in a soap factory. But after their mother suffered a stroke, she moved back home to look after her until her death in November 2009, aged 79.

Sharon explained: ‘I gave up my own job so I could look after mum. I lived in the family home, alongside my brothers Robert and Desmond, who had never moved out, and Dennis, who had returned from living in Australia.’

After their mother died, Dennis was responsible for the mortgage payments on the four-bedroom home. But when Dennis was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, he announced his intention to leave the family home to Sharon’s middle son, Gary.

Sharon said: ‘Dennis had always been fond of Gary, they got on well and Gary ran errands for him. He wanted Gary to have his share.’

But the decision upset Robert and, after Dennis died in December 2018, Robert became very hostile towards Sharon and her sons.

Sarah and Robert's mother Sharon Alice (pictured above) was widowed when Sharon was just 10 months old

Sarah and Robert's mother Sharon Alice (pictured above) was widowed when Sharon was just 10 months old

Sarah and Robert’s mother Sharon Alice (pictured above) was widowed when Sharon was just 10 months old 

She said: ‘I paid all the bills in the house and so he’d crank up the heating, to maximum, to make sure my bills were high. He was very petty. He’d shout at me. I think he thought I’d move out, but I stood my ground.’

Sharon had suffered with ill-health since moving back into the family home and had been diagnosed with gall stones and heart trouble.

She said: ‘My doctors couldn’t really get to the bottom of it, and I was in and out of hospital.’

In April 2020, after a week in bed with severe stomach pains, she decided to go out for a walk, and bought a carton of milk.

Sharon cared for her mother Sarah Alice (pictured) after she suffered a stroke in 2009 at the age of 79

Sharon cared for her mother Sarah Alice (pictured) after she suffered a stroke in 2009 at the age of 79

Sharon cared for her mother Sarah Alice (pictured) after she suffered a stroke in 2009 at the age of 79

She said: ‘I used the milk to make porridge. A couple of days later, I smelled it and was instantly alarmed. It smelled very chemically, there was something not right.

‘I called my son who came round and put a new lock on my bedroom door. We both suspected Robert had been tampering with the milk, because he was so horrible towards me.’

Sharon’s son, Gary, helped rig up a secret camera in the family kitchen. Over the coming weeks, Sharon bought herself two cartons of milk each time she went shopping, leaving one in the kitchen and storing another in a secret fridge in her bedroom.

She added: ‘I went through the motions of making my porridge in the kitchen and using the milk, so as not to alert Robert. Then, I went upstairs and used the second carton of milk, which I knew was safe.’

It was not long before she and Gary caught Robert tipping a powder into her milk.

While Sharon suspected that her brother was up to no good, she was shocked to discover the truth

While Sharon suspected that her brother was up to no good, she was shocked to discover the truth

While Sharon suspected that her brother was up to no good, she was shocked to discover the truth 

Sharon said: ‘Robert admitted administering laxatives over a period of a few weeks, but personally I feel it probably went far deeper than that.

‘Even though I’d suspected him, I was so shocked to catch him in the act. For my own brother to do that to me, to actually make me ill, so he could force me out of my family home, is appalling.

‘My sons were worried about me and pleaded with me to leave the house. But I refused to be bullied. It’s my home, I looked after my mother here, I should be allowed to stay without fearing for my safety.

‘Ever since I moved back into the house, I’ve had health problems. Since Robert was arrested, my health has dramatically improved. I’ve had no more issues with my stomach.

‘I’m frightened of Robert; I worry what he’s capable of. The whole case has caused me a lot of anxiety and stress. But I’m still in the family home, I live here alone now, and I would like to leave on my own terms.’

Sharon has nine other siblings - she is pictured above with her brother Desmond (right) at the age of six

Sharon has nine other siblings - she is pictured above with her brother Desmond (right) at the age of six

Sharon has nine other siblings – she is pictured above with her brother Desmond (right) at the age of six 

Minshull Street Crown Court heard this week that McCabe put laxatives in his sister’s milk on two or three occasions over a two-week period before he was caught on camera.

Defending, barrister Rachel Faux said he expressed remorse towards his sister, agreeing with the judge it was a case of ‘sibling squabbling’. 

‘He wants to put matters behind him as quickly as he can and move forward with his life,’ Ms Faux added.

Sentencing, Judge Maurice Greene said McCabe was charged with an offence rarely seen before the courts. ‘This involved sibling rivalry,’ he added. ‘The sort of sibling rivalry a man of your age shouldn’t be involved in. 

‘What you did was inexcusable, juvenile behaviour, and it was not on another juvenile – you knew your sister had health problems.’

Robert plead guilty to maliciously administering a noxious thing to annoy, injure or aggrieve, under the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861.

He was made the subject of an 18-month community order; and ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work and 15 days of rehabilitation activity requirements.

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