Mansfield carer stole from OAP to fund her wedding

Nottingham Crown Court.
Nottingham Crown Court.

A carer from Mansfield Woodhouse was jailed after a judge said she kept lying about using an OAP’s savings to help pay for her wedding.

Mr Recorder Paul Mann QC said about £3,900 was taken by Holly Whitehead of Cedar Avenue, who admitted fraud.

Jailing her for three months, Mr Recorder Mann told the mother-of-two: “When confronted by your employer with what you had done, you lied.

“You had an answer to everything. Those answers were lies. When you were interviewed by the police, you lied to them as well.”

He said it was important to send the message care workers should expect prison if they take cash from their clients.

Siward James-Moore, prosecuting at Nottingham Crown Court, said Whitehead claimed a £40 Amazon purchase was for deep fat fryer for the man, but it was spent on “wedding decorations to adorn chairs”.

She told police the man paid for her “to have her hair done for a hen do”. She also claimed he agreed to buy her suitcases for a foreign trip.

The court heard her victim was “a vulnerable elderly man with physical disabilities, breathing and mobility issues, who needed help in dealing with day-to-day affairs”.

He had “full mental capacity” and Whitehead, 27, was one of his carers.

Another employee had the job of organising payment of the man’s bills and became concerned when she noticed “a substantial increase” in spending on his bank card after July last year.

Many purchases were made from women’s clothes shops and Whitehead was interviewed by her firm.

She said some withdrawals were for when he bought takeaways and also claimed to have taken him out for a pub meal.

However, the police tracked down items which had been bought by Whitehead.

The court heard her victim said he “felt horrible” when told of her crime.

Lauren Fisher, mitigating, said the offence covered about three months.

He said: “She said it was a silly mistake and she repeated it over a period of time. Eventually she became very candid with the probation officer.”

Whitehead had debts of £20,000 and had worked in the care industry for five years. She admitted the cash went on “providing materials for herself and her wedding”.

Miss Fisher said: “She is not a dishonest woman by nature. She knows the seriousness of this and it has caused her anxiety and anguish waiting for this day.”