A CARER who defrauded an elderly woman of more than £20,000 has been handed a suspended sentence.
Diane Clegg (60) of Campsall Field Road in Wath, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court for sentencing, after previously admitting two counts of fraud.
Clegg was paid £50 a week to care for a 76-year-old woman — cleaning, cooking and shopping, giving unlimited access to the victim’s bank account.
The lady’s relatives raised concerns last March, after seeing out-of-date food in the fridge.
They asked questions about her care and money, resulting in the launch of an investigation in to Clegg.
PC Lynn Robins, of the vulnerable person and antisocial behaviour unit, said: “The victim — who understandably trusted Clegg, having known her for a number of years — gave her access to her bankcards as she often did the shopping and even helped her to change banks on one occasion.
“After concerns were raised by the victim’s family last year, they looked at her bank accounts and realised that significant amounts of cash had been withdrawn every month.
“In 2015 alone, the victim had £11,996 of cash withdrawn from her account, while very little money ever left Clegg’s account.”
A complex police investigation eventually brough Clegg to court, where she was given a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years.
PC Robins said: “Our enquiries and analysis of the accounts of both Clegg and the victim discovered that more than £20,000 had been stolen.
“Throughout the investigation, Clegg showed no remorse and blamed the victim, claiming that she had willingly handed over the money.
“She deliberately took advantage of a vulnerable woman, who had put her entire trust in Clegg and even viewed her as a close friend.
“I’m pleased that at an earlier hearing, Clegg finally acknowledged her guilt and claimed responsibility.”
She added: “Clegg carelessly and selfishly spent the money on shopping and online gambling, amongst other things, with no thought to the victim and for the consequences of her actions.”
Clegg was also ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge and take part in a 15-day rehabilitation programme.