‘Despicable’ carer stole £9k from OAP, 95, to splash on gambling

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A carer who a 95-year-old pensioner considered “a friend” stole £9,000 of his savings to fund her gambling addiction, a court has heard. 

Heartless Alison Hunter used the victim’s bank account to spend on online flutters without his knowledge.

The 47-year-old then told the police he had full knowledge of what she was spending his money on when she was arrested and interviewed.

Now she has been spared an immediate prison sentence, the Derby Telegraph reports.

Handing her a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, Judge Shaun Smith KC said at Derby Crown Court: “What you did was despicable, there’s no doubt about that and you are the second person to fleece vulnerable people that I have dealt with in court today.

“You have had a dreadful life as a young person and that led you to become a gambling addict and against the background of that addiction, you committed the offence you have now pleaded guilty to.

“That’s not an excuse but it’s an explanation to your offending.”

Leanne Summers, prosecuting, said the victim was living at Normanton Lodge Care Home, in Alfreton, Derbys, which is run by a provider called My Care Ltd, and had been there for six years.

She said between July 2019 and November 2020, the defendant took almost £9,000 of his savings.

The prosecutor said the police became involved in January 2021 when his Power of Attorney contacted them to say that large sums of money were missing from his bank account.

Miss Summers said: “She worked there as his carer and provided care for him. He gave her his permission to use his bank card, which he kept in a safe at the home, to get his shopping.

“But he later mistrusted her because she became reluctant to let him have the card back. He went to take the card from the safe where it was kept but it was not there.

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“He told the police he did not give her permission to use the bank card for anything other than to buy his shopping. He said he stopped receiving bank statements and so did not know what was taken.”

In a victim impact statement, the man told how he has lost trust in the care home, has lost his independence and feels hurt emotionally as he considered her a friend.

Hunter, of Coronation Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield, pleaded guilty to fraud and has no previous convictions.

Raglan Ashton, mitigating, said his client worked in the care system from 2009 until January of this year when she entered her guilty plea and was dismissed.

He said: “Her addiction is to online gambling.”

Mr Ashton said she is now using a support system to help control her addiction. As part of the suspended sentence, Judge Smith ordered Hunter to attend 15 rehabilitation days with the probation service.

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