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Woman spared jail after ‘wicked’ £12k theft from victim with dementia

PUBLISHED: 16:29 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:49 10 January 2019

A man denied the ill-treatment of three people in his care when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

A man denied the ill-treatment of three people in his care when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

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The actions of a woman who stole almost £12,000 from an elderly dementia sufferer just months after the victim’s own son stole £21,000 from her have been branded “wicked” by family members.

Holly Wright, 30, had been entrusted to help the victim - her then partner’s grandmother - after her health deteriorated due to her suffering from dementia.

But Norwich Crown Court heard that between September 2015 and December 2016 Wright siphoned £11,884 from the victim’s account with a “significant amount” spent on online gambling.

Wright had played a “big part” in helping after the victim’s son, Gavin Thorpe, was jailed for six months after stealing £21,158 from the same victim between December 2012 and March 2015.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said that in 2016 members of the family had asked to see the victim’s bank statements and discovered money was missing. Wright, of Meadow Close, Cromer admitted stealing £11, 884 from the victim and appeared in court for sentence on Thursday (January 10).

An impact statement made by the victim’s grandson Robert Knott, said it was something he “never thought would happen again” and described how Wright had “played a big part” helping the victim following Thorpe’s sentence.

He said: “I find it really hard to understand and feel absolutely heartbroken she could steal straight after his sentence. She knew the consequences of stealing.”

He described the theft as “wicked” and said the family have found it “extremely hard to deal with”.

David Stewart, mitigating, said she behaved “disgustingly” and accepts that.

Recorder Ann Mulligan who described the offending as totally and utterly “despicable” sentenced her to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years. She was also ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work and pay the victim £6,000 in compensation in the next 28 days or serve six months in custody in default.

Victim impact statement

A victim impact statement made on behalf of the victim, by her grandson Robert Knott, was read out in court by prosecutor Chris Youell.

It said: “This is something I never thought would happen again to my nan being taken advantage of yet again.

“My nan is an elderly lady living with dementia, her finances were left in my brother’s girlfriend’s (Holly Wright) hands by my father who honestly thought he could trust after my nan had been robbed by her son Gavin Thorpe.”

Mr Knott said Wright had “played a big part” in Thorpe’s conviction and helped with her victim statement in that case.

He said: “I find it really hard to understand and feel absolutely heartbroken she could steal straight after his sentence. She knew the consequences of stealing.”

Mr Knott said his nan, who has no idea this has happened because of her illness, “relies on the people who love her to look after her and not steal from her”.

He described the theft as “wicked” and said the family have found it “extremely hard to deal with”.

He added: “Holly Wright is a very selfish person who in my eyes is worse than my uncle as she knew the effects of this crime.”

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