Cleaner caught red handed stealing from Preston pensioner’s home

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A cleaner who stole from a vulnerable pensioner has been given a suspended jail term.

Ann Rixson was secretly helping herself to money from the 80-year-old’s purse and tricking the partially sighted woman into writing cheques for more than she believed, pocketing the extra, Preston magistrates heard.

The pensioner’s suspicious family caught Rixson, 65, of Vicarage Close, Fulwood, red-handed after secretly installing a hidden camera.

The victim said she had suffered stress and anxiety, was struggling to sleep and woke up “tossing and turning.” She said: “I feel so betrayed and hurt and wonder how long it has been going on. Although she started as a cleaner, I came to view her as a friend.

“I will never know how much she has stolen.

“I thought it was my fault and doubted myself.”

Grandmother-of-five Rixson pleaded guilty to theft and fraud by abusing her position.

Both charges amount to around £300, though the court heard the victim believed she had stolen a lot more.

Suzy Privett, prosecuting, said: “The victim is an 80-year-old lady who is very vulnerable by virtue of her age and health. She has a speech impediment, is partially sighted and wheelchair bound but does have mental capacity and is fully aware of what has happened.

“She feels very hurt and betrayed by the offences committed by the defendant.

“She was seen on CCTV on August 3 taking money from her purse.

Rob Kellock, defending, said Rixon was “ashamed and embarrassed” and remorseful.

The bench imposed a 26 week jail sentence suspended for 12 months, with a curfew and £506 compensation.