Carer stole from dementia sufferer

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A THIEVING carer was caught by a covert camera after a colleague noticed money going missing from the home of an 84-year-old dementia sufferer.

Sharon Defty was branded a liar and a thief by Judge Christopher Prince.

He said: “Mean doesn’t even begin to describe this offence. I wonder if her conscience allows her to sleep at night. But I doubt she has a conscience, because no one with one would have stolen in these circumstances in the first place.”

Prosecutor Ian West told Durham Crown Court carers from the Care Watch organisation routinely collected the victim’s benefits, did a weekly shop, and left the change in his house in Seaham.

One noticed it was going missing and alerted police.

Defty, 43, of Stavordale Street, Seaham, admitted theft between July and November, last year.

Graeme Cook, mitigating, said: “She is a woman of previous good character who stole the money to make ends meet. On her basis of plea, she admits taking no more than £477.”

Defty was given four-and-half months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and 200 hours of community work. She was ordered to pay £477 compensation to the victim, and £1,200 costs, at £50 per week.