A CAREWORKER who stole more than £17,000 from a vulnerable 90-year-old woman she was looking after at home has been jailed.
Tanya Tinsley (39) took blank cheques from her victim and cashed in 12 of them over a sixth-month period.
The court was told that the mother-of-two, of Glenside, Kirkby, was of previous good character.
The judge at Nottingham Crown Court told her: “This is a sad day in your life. It was a serious breach of trust.
“Your victim now doesn’t feel safe in her own home.”
Tinsley pleaded guilty to theft of the cheques and fraud and was jailed for nine months.
She had been employed for two years up to last September by Premier Care, a company providing care assistants, said Robby Singh, prosecuting.
The workers’ duties included cleaning, shopping and checking clients were taking their medication.
The 90-year-old woman living in Ravenshead had a friend who looked at her finances and realised two cheques had come out of her account in August of last year, said Mr Singh.
The elderly woman said she had not cashed them and her bank, RBS, was notified. A further attempt to cash a cheque was stopped.
Tinsley’s partner had spotted bank cheques at her house and she later confessed to him.
He rang her employers, said Mr Singh.
Tinsley said she had used the money for “shopping, food and bits and bobs”.
She had not repaid her debts of £12,000.
Her barrister Christopher Lowe said she owed money to a loan shark. There was no evidence of high living.
She had led a decent, hard-working life up to that point and was ashamed.
The court heard her victim was extremely upset to find a total of £17,400 had been stolen.
She had now become obsessive about her handbag and carried it with her in a basket on her walking frame about the house all the time.