A Northumberland woman has been convicted of theft and jailed for 16 months after stealing more than £21,000 from a 92-year-old woman with dementia, who she was paid to look after.
Caroline Johnson, 41, of Plessey Road, Blyth, worked for a company providing care in the community. She was employed as the carer of the elderly woman, who had sight and mobility issues.
Over an 18-month period, from December 2014 to July 2016, Johnson befriended the woman working in her home on an almost daily basis. The victim had no close family nearby and heavily relied on Johnson for her day-to-day care.
By August last year, Johnson had stolen the woman’s life savings, leaving her with just £198.
Johnson began to take advantage of the elderly woman, using her bank card to withdraw cash from the bank machine and using her bank card in a variety of local shops to buy goods and claim cash back, which she pocketed. She even used the victim’s bank accounts to pay for her own mobile phone, gas and electricity bills for her home address.
Johnson even helped the woman transfer £10,000 from an ISA into the pensioner’s current account as her funds were being depleted by Johnson’s crimes.
The thefts continued up until the day before she was arrested, when Johnson stole £800 from the account.
Johnson pleaded guilty to theft and earlier this week she was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.
DC Richard Jobson of Northumbria Police said: “Caroline Johnson regularly abused the trust of the vulnerable victim she was being paid to care for.
“This elderly lady should have been safe and protected in her home by the very person who was employed to look after her needs. Instead Caroline ruthlessly exploited her position of trust and systematically stole large sums of money for her own personal greed.
“This case has had a profound effect on the victim and her family who have all suffered as a result of her actions.
“I am pleased the court has taken into account the severity of the abuse and the distress it has caused the victim.
“I hope the elderly victim will be able to recover her confidence in people now that the case has been dealt with at court.”