Dereham carer must pay back stolen £35,000 in six months – or face 20 more months in jail

Lisa Mitchell pleaded guilty to stealing from the Reed family after she was caught on secret video. Photo: Supplied Lisa Mitchell pleaded guilty to stealing from the Reed family after she was caught on secret video. Photo: Supplied

Rosa McMahon rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
8:40 AM

A carer who stole £35,000 from an elderly Dereham couple will have to pay back the cash in the next six months – or face almost two more years in prison.

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Lisa Mitchell. Picture: Norfolk PoliceLisa Mitchell. Picture: Norfolk Police

Lisa Mitchell, 38, was jailed in January for 18 months after a secret camera captured her pocketing money from the vulnerable people she was supposed to look after.

Yesterday at a Proceeds of Crime Hearing at Norwich Crown Court, Mitchell was told by Judge Stephen Holt she must return the money to her victims in six months or face 20 more months in prison.

Mitchell’s family are believed to be re-mortgaging their home on Masefield Mews in Dereham to cover the costs.

The court previously heard the mother-of-two was employed by the family to look after Sheila Read, 81, who has dementia.

She had worked for the Read family for 10 years and they treated her like a daughter.

But she stole thousands of pounds from them over three years.

It was only when David and Sheila Read’s worried son Allan turned detective and hid a surveillance camera in a pen that Mitchell was caught red-handed.

The chilling footage showed Mitchell rummaging through drawers in the Read family office looking for money while Mrs Read was in the next room waiting for her care.

Last night Allan Read, 52, said he was pleased his family nursery and plant business in Dereham and garden centre in Toftwood would be given the cash back to start growing again.

But he spoke of his frustration at the length of the process to bring Mitchell to justice since she was arrested in September 2012.

“I feel it would have been nice to have the money back sooner,” he said.

“My business could have done with the cash and when we do get the money I will be putting the money straight back in to it.”

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