Trusted carer took £5,000 from Sunderland woman who suffered brain damage
A carer who defrauded a brain damaged Sunderland woman out of almost £5,000 has been spared jail but handed a suspended sentence.
Kelly Taylor, 44, made repeated trips to a cash point machine near her place of work to swipe up to £200 with each withdrawal.
The defendant, of Gladstone Street, Roker, was uncovered when her victim’s brother checked his sibling’s account and found it financially depleted.
At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, Deputy District Judge Arlagh Davies jailed Taylor for 26 weeks, suspended for 18 months.
Judge Davies, ordering her to repay the money in full, told her: “You were in a position of trust.
“People and residents at these places deserve to have trust from the people who look after them. You’ve breached that, which is serious.
“It was just short of £5,000, which is a significant sum of money.”
Taylor pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by false representation, between December 2019 and January 2021, at an earlier hearing.
The court heard she struck while working at council-run Sunderland Care and Support.
Prosecutor Mile Lawson said: “The injured party lives in supported accommodation and her brother has power of attorney.
“It’s the policy, or it was the policy, where accounts were set up where money could be taken out for residents.
“At the brother’s request, a support account was set up. It’s from that account that various sums of money were taken.
“The brother was checking the account and found numerous instances of £200 going out, sometimes day after day.”
Annalisa Moscardini, defending, said: “This is the first time she has been in trouble. She can’t work in this field anymore.
“She tells me she wants to repay the money in full but it may take some time because she doesn’t have the income.
“The offence came about because of a break-up with her long-term girlfriend, and she began drinking too much.
“She was drinking and working and drinking and working. She realises now just how awful she was. She’s reduced her alcohol.”
Taylor was also sentenced to carry out 20 rehabilitation days and 200 hours of unpaid work, and must pay £85 court costs.