Elderly man had cheques stolen

A Norfolk woman stole £11,000 from a frail pensioner who she was meant to be looking after, a court heard yesterday.

A Norfolk woman stole £11,000 from a frail pensioner who she was meant to be looking after, a court heard yesterday.

Sandra Raper, 26, of Kings Road, Dereham, stole the money from John Toorchen, 82, to pay for her and her partner's drug habit, Fenland Magistrates' Court heard was told.

Raper admitted two charges of theft and two charges of forgery after the court heard she took two cheques from the pensioner's chequebook. She forged his signature and stole £5,000 on January 18 and another £6,000 on February 14.

Prosecutor Sara Walker said Mr Toorchen was frail, lived alone and was in poor health after suffering a stroke.

Raper had been employed to help out by cleaning the house and tending to the garden.

The court was told that it was while cleaning the house that Raper came across the chequebook and wrote two cheques to use the money to pay for drugs and also debts.

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Mrs Walker said Mr Toorchen reported the missing cheques to the police and, when arrested, Raper admitted writing the cheques in her name and forging the pensioner's signature.

Mitigating, Andrew Spence said Raper had worked for Mr Toorchen in the early part of 2005 for about four months, and she returned to his employ at the end of last year.

He said she was a drug user and things spiralled out of control when she was introduced to crack cocaine.

He added: “She wants to change her life, she is deeply ashamed and went to the victim to confess.”

The case was adjourned and sent to Cambridge Crown Court for sentencing.