A grandmother-of-eight was left in fear of losing her home after her granddaughter stole her life savings.
Helena Burrows, 24, is starting an eight-month jail sentence after stealing more than £13,000 from her widowed grandma. Preston Crown Court heard Burrows, who worked as a carer, asked Catherine Denwood, 76, if she could live with her following the death of her husband.
Mrs Denwood was glad of the company and even gave up her main bedroom for her granddaughter. In April last year, Mrs Denwood suffered a minor stroke and was admitted to hospital. When she returned home the relationship with her granddaughter changed and Burrows became more controlling, hiding her mail and listening in to telephone calls.
Mrs Denwood had two savings accounts which contained a total of £15,000 – but when she next checked her “household account” was £1,000 overdrawn. Further checks revealed Burrows had emptied Mrs Denwood’s savings and taken out loans in her name. She had also taken out payday loans claiming her grandmother would act as guarantor.
Mrs Denwood was so upset she felt she could not return home to her granddaughter and went to stay with a daughter. Meanwhile, Burrows contacted police claiming she was concerned about her grandmother.
When police arrived at the house, Burrows, Tarnsyke Road, Lancaster, admitted she had been stealing and was arrested. She told officers she did not really know why she had taken the money other than to buy clothes, makeup, haircuts and nail treatments.
Mrs Denwood said: “It was frightening. I thought I was going to lose my home. Me and my husband worked all our lives for it. I took her in in good faith, thinking she was going to look after me. At the moment I just don’t want anything to do with her.”