A CAREGIVER defrauded the vulnerable woman in her care over Â£ 20,000.
Amanda Henderson, 50, committed the offense over a period of almost two years against her victim who was bedridden, blind and suffering from dementia.
Henderson, of Southbourne Grove, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to a single charge of abuse of position fraud in August and appeared in Bournemouth Crown Court yesterday.
Judge Stephen Climie gave the accused the opportunity to prove herself in court by postponing the sentence for six months.
He expected her to save at least Â£ 1,000 in compensation before a hearing in March next year in the same court.
However, he told Henderson that she should not assume that meeting this requirement would guarantee her freedom.
In charge, Jonathan Underhill said that a payment by standing order had been put in place in relation to the care given by the accused to the victim.
However, it turned out that she also regularly transferred funds from the elderly woman’s bank account to her own account.
Mr Underhill said the lump sum fraudulently obtained was Â£ 20,829.44.
The court heard that the amount transferred varied widely, going as high as Â£ 40 on some occasions, but other cases involved amounts of Â£ 3,000 and Â£ 5,000.
The prosecutor said it appeared she would transfer “as much as she thought she could get away with in each individual transaction.”
References to transactions frequently included the word âcareâ or âstoreâ in an attempt to sound legitimate, Mr. Underhill said.
Two transactions were also made on an account in the name of Henderson’s partner, the court said.
âDuring 2017 the victim was bedridden, suffered from dementia and was blind,â Mr. Underhill said.
“She was considered extremely vulnerable at the time.”
The court heard that an attempt to set up an online bank using the victim’s account was made using an email address containing the accused’s name, but this was blocked by Santander.
Mr Underhill said the offense had a significant impact, noting the victim’s particular vulnerability due to his age and general disability.
The accused had no relevant prior conviction.
Mitigating, Timothy Compton said that even if the detention threshold had been crossed, it would be appropriate to suspend the jail term.
Henderson, who runs a cleaning company and also works at BP, said she could save Â£ 200 a month in compensation, Mr Compton told the court.
Justice Climie said anyone who stole under the circumstances Henderson had done so inevitably risked going to jail.
“It is clear that you have given him important care,” said Justice Climie. “At the same time, you were stealing her knowing her vulnerabilities.”
The judge said that a few years after the offense, it was very important that the victim’s family received the money to which they were entitled.
He warned the defendant that committing other offenses or not saving money, unless there is a real excuse, will see her put behind bars at the March hearing.