A care worker stole money from a bed ridden 92-year-old woman she was supposed to be looking after.
Jacqueline Brown was an agency worker who was responsible, with others, for caring for a woman from Maghull.
But over a four-month period between October last year she helped herself to £2,500 of her victim’s money by using her cash card at bank machines.
Liverpool Crown Court heard how Brown used the bank card 10 times, taking £250 a time.
Gerald Baxter, prosecuting, said the pensioner, who though frail still had all her faculties at the time, noticed that her account was missing a considerable sum and police were informed.
They arrested Brown, of Black-a-Moor Lane, Downholland in February and discovered she had £1,300 in cash in her house.
She denied all knowledge of any thefts and said the money had been given to her by her mother.
But as the case was about to come to trial she changed her mind and admitted theft charges.
The court heard the victim’s condition had since deteriorated.
Desmond Lennon, defending, said Brown was a mother-of-two with no previous convictions and suggested she had stolen the money to pay off the drug debts of her son, who is autistic.
He said: “She recognises that right minded people will feel her behaviour is deplorable and reprehensible.”
He added that the theft was an “appalling breach of trust” and she was filled with “absolute regret and disgust” by her behaviour.
Mr Lennon said that Brown was also a charity volunteer helping to rescue animals and provided character references.
But Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, said it was a “rich irony” that her references described her as being “as honest as the day is long” when she clearly wasn’t.
He said: “Thoughtful, maybe; kind, maybe; very trustworthy and honest couldn’t be further from the mark.”
He added: “Between October 2013 and February this year you were working as a care visitor for a care agency.
“As such you looked after an elderly lady who, while bedridden had at that time, but no longer sadly, her mental faculties about her.
“I have no doubt you gained her trust and confidence having done so you flagrantly and repeatedly abused it by accessing her bank account over a four month period with the cash card and stole £250 on each of 10 occasions.”
He jailed her for 12 months but suspended the sentence for a year and ordered her to be supervised by probation.
He ordered her to repay the £2,500, the prosecution costs of £1,200 and her own defence costs.
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