‘A mean, miserable act of greed’: Carer stole £3,000 from 83-year-old with dementia

PUBLISHED: 16:49 29 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:49 29 July 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A “mean, greedy” carer stole almost £3,000 from an 83-year-old woman with dementia, a court heard.

Gemma Baldwin, of Burns Close, Dereham, had been helping care for the victim while temporarily staying at her address, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said she used the victim's bank card to make purchases for herself and pay off credit cards.

The thefts came to light when the victim's grandson noticed money missing from the victim's bank account and saw there were a number of transactions made on her account which were unlikely and unusual.

Mr Spence said it was discovered some of the transactions were linked to Baldwin's email account.

Mr Spence said when police were called in to investigate, Baldwin made admissions about taking the cash and that in total she had taken £2,992 from the victim.

He said the thefts were an abuse of trust as Baldwin had been involved in the care of the victim and they occurred over a three month period.

He said: "The victim in this case was particularly vulnerable."

Baldwin admitted fraud between May and August last year.

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Sentencing her, Judge David Goodin imposed a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered her to pay back the cash to the victim at a rate of £150 a month.

He also ordered her to do 180 hours unpaid work.

He said: "This was a low, mean, miserable act of greed."

Andrew Oliver, for Baldwin, said that she herself was vulnerable and had been going through a difficult period in her life at the time of the offences.

He said that she had been trying to cope with the death of her father and her uncle.

Mr Oliver said that she had been candid with police in interview and admitted her guilt at the first opportunity.

He said: "She made legitimate purchases on behalf of the victim but then had made illegitimate purchases."

He said she was now on medication for depression and getting help to deal with her issues.

Mr Oliver said that the victim wanted to pay the victim back but did not have the cash available to do so at present but was hoping to return to work.

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