Preston pensioner's thieving carer jailed for six years.

Toni Chippendale

Toni Chippendale

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A carer who siphoned nearly £100,000 from a trusting 86-year-old pensioner by lying about his finances was today caged for six years.

Toni Chippendale hit the headlines herself after becoming the victim of a thieving toyboy lover she met in Barbados - but is today exposed as a thief herself after admitting stealing around £74,000 from trusting great-grandfather Geoffrey Cooke, as well as being fraudulently overpaid £25,000 in care fees.

Chippendale, 56, of Whitby Avenue, Ingol, Preston, persuaded the retired BAe printer to sell his family home, which was worth £180,000, to move to a bungalow near her.

But she tricked him into thinking he had only sold his home for £80,000 - meaning he did not have enough to purchase the bungalow.

She then bought the bungalow herself and persuaded the bewildered pensioner to pay her £50,000 upfront to "rent it" from her.

The court heard it was only when his suspicious daughter took over his financial affairs he realised he had been duped by the carer he had trusted and adored for more than a decade.

When the suspicious family stepped in she called police and said her victim's daughter had "stolen" his financial paperwork .

Once challenged by police, arrogant Chippendale said: "Oh yeah, I'm meant to care for them for free am I?"

Later she insisted officers were "barking up the wrong tree". When asked why she replied: "That's your job to find out, not mine."

Tragically Mr Cooke died from kidney failure in October before he got to see justice done, penniless and effectively homeless.

Chippendale was also accused of stealing from his son John, 57, who suffered severe Downs syndrome, but the charge was ordered to lie on file.

In a double blow for the family, John died from a heart attack in March before Chippendale entered her guilty pleas.

The court heard after entering pleas she failed to attend an appointment with probation officers because she had jetted off to Barbados to see her friends, before her sentencing.

Tanned Chippendale, wiped her eyes with a tissue as disgusted members of the community watched from the public gallery.

Sentencing her, Judge Graham Knowles, sitting at Sessions House in Preston, said: "“You are a cheat, a liar, and a thief.

The court must defend those who cannot defend themselves.

“You were the smiler with the knife under the cloak.”

His daughter Cath Bermingham, from Broadgate, Preston, said: "No sentence will ever compare to the years she took from our family.

"We are relieved we have been believed and encourage families in similar situations to keep fighting and not give up."