Conned pensioner who lost £100k to Mansfield fraudster will only get £2,372 back

A pensioner is to get back only £2,372 from a Mansfield carer who duped her out of £99,999.

Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 10:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 10:41 am

The victim, once described as “wealthy and vulnerable,” is now living on benefits because of the fraud carried out by Linda Baker, 61, of Siskin Court, Mansfield.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that extensive enquiries had been made into the finances of Baker, who is serving three years for the offence which began in January 2013 and went on for two years.

Gregor Purcell, prosecuting, said that £1,498 in cash had been recovered while £58 was in a bank account of Baker. Several electrical items had been seized by the police and these were likely to make the total figure reach £2,372.

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Judge Sarah Buckingham ordered Baker to sign a document releasing the bank money and declared “the realisable benefit of £99,999 and available £2,372.” If Baker fails to sign the document within a month, she will have to serve another 24 days inside under the terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Last year, Baker pleaded guilty to defrauding the woman out of £99,999 by withdrawing cash from her bank account and putting it into her own. She will be freed on licence halfway through the three-year term.

She was sentenced by Judge Nigel Godsmark QC who told her: “You have taken everything she had financially. She emptied her bank account and now she is on state benefits.

“You are 61 and somebody of previous good character but this was a fraud over a number of years. You were trusted to manage her accounts and took nearly £100,000 for your purposes.”

The sentencing court heard that the victim was in her sixties and regarded as vulnerable. Because of this, she needed carers. When first arrested, Baker denied the offence and said the woman her to “look after herself.”

Philip Plant, for Baker, had told the judge: “It is clear she has fallen prey to the temptation to access someone else’s money.”

But around the time, Baker had given up her job to care for her sister, who later died of ovarian cancer.

“She had her own health troubles and had eye cancer. She never got over the death of her sister and knew she was in pain and discomfort.

“This is not an excuse but puts what happened into some kind of context,” said Mr Plant. By pleading guilty, she took “full responsibility for it.”