A care worker with money troubles stole £12,000 from a housebound pensioner she was looking after, a court heard.
Gillian Draper, from Penwortham, syphoned off the money using the old lady’s bank card over a two-and-a-half year period.
Jailing her for two years, Judge Beverley Lunt told the 58-year-old: “You were more than a carer to her, you were a friend and she placed a high degree of trust in you.
“The result of your criminality is that this old lady now feels gullible, taken advantage of and used. That is very sad.”
Preston Crown Court heard that Draper, of Kingsfold Drive, had befriended the elderly woman when she visited her as a care worker. Later, after leaving the company she worked for, the friendship continued and she carried on as an informal carer, helping around the house and doing errands.
The two became close and Draper was allowed use of the victim’s bank card for shopping. The lady also gave her regular cash gifts and loans after she confessed she was struggling financially. But between 2010 and 2013 other large sums disappeared from the lady’s bank account and they were eventually traced to Draper.
Nick Kennedy, defending, said his client was almost constantly in possession of the bank card and she started to take money for herself because of serious financial problems at home. Those problems resulted in her losing her home and using pay day lenders.
Draper, who sat sobbing throughout the hearing, was told by Judge Lunt: “You only stopped committing these thefts because you were caught. This was a sustained and deliberate course of conduct over time. This lady was in poor health and has lost a very substantial amount of money – money which won’t be put right because you don’t have any money.”