Carer jailed for 18 months for fraud - Luton

04/03/2014

A carer looking after a vulnerable disabled lady in Dunstable plundered her life savings to the tune of more than £35,000. Debra Thompson managed to get her hands on the bank cards of her victim, Denise Newson.

Today, Tuesday, 04 March 2014, 21-year-old Thompson was told that what she'd done was a flagrant breach of trust.

Betweeen October 2012 and June of last year Thompson had embarked on what was described at Luton Crown Court as a 'spending spree' with Mrs Newson's credit and debit cards.

Sadly, Mrs Newson, who suffered from multiple system atrophy, which had left her housebound and immobile and in need of constant care, never lived to see justice catch up with Thompson. The 67-year-old died over Christmas, after telling her family: "I've had enough now, I feel beaten."

Thompson, of Thorntondale in Luton, appeared at Luton Crown Court today to admit three counts of fraud.

Andrew Lewis, prosecuting, said that in order to help the carer with shopping chores, Mrs Newson had made her bank cards available to Thompson. The pensioner's family had trusted Thompson to look after their mother, but that trust was betrayed. Thompson, having got her hands on the cards, began using them for her own benefit.

Mr Lewis said there were numerous transactions over the period and he described her as going on a shopping spree. As a result, said the prosecutor, her bank accounts had been "cleaned out" and the money lost.

When the thefts first came to light Thompson tried to make out the cards had been stolen, but members of the pensioner's family became suspicious and the police were brought in.

The court was told the money represented her life savings and in court today Judge Richard Foster was told that following the thefts there had been a decline in the victim's health and she had suffered depression.

Dominic Woollard, defending Thompson, said: "She is never going to forgive herself for the actions she took. She will take this with her for the rest of her life." He added: "She accepts she can never make right what she has done."

Judge Foster told Thompson: "You accept your conduct was despicable."

The judge said she had been in a position of trust, adding: "I accept you are remorseful and I have no doubt you wish you could turn back the clock, but you can't."

He jailed her for a total of 18 months.

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