A caregiver betrayed an 87-year-old woman by stealing her for online shopping and gambling.
Amanda Clark’s “vulnerable victim”, whom ECHO chose not to name, saw her as “a true friend – her favorite caregiver”.
She let Clark use her bank card to shop during the coronavirus pandemic because she “totally trusted” him.
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But the 33-year-old, Yorkaster Road, Allerton, instead spent nearly £ 7,000 of the woman’s savings on herself.
The mother-of-two has now been spared jail after a judge said her incarceration would have a negative impact on her children.
Liverpool Crown Court have heard that Clark worked for Merseycare Julie Ann Ltd between March 31, 2010 and December 18, 2020.
The care assistant – who was checked by the DBS and trained in protection, including money management – was to provide home care, such as emotional support, personal care and household chores. .
She spent a total of £ 6,770 on the Next, Argos, Asda, Very, JD Sports, Schuh, Co-Op, Now TV, Giff Gaff, Smyths Toys, William Hill and Paddy Power websites, between April 2 and October 5 of last year.
David Polglase, prosecuting, said he was not accepted. Clark had started to steal the money “accidentally,” as the caregiver claimed in a pre-sentence report.
He said: “The prosecution said it was a deliberate, planned and targeted offense.”
The victim noticed an “unusual” TSB bank statement, three and a half pages long, on September 2 of last year.
Mr Polglase said the victim canceled the card and ordered a new one.
On the next statement, she noticed that her old card information was used to create a Now TV account, before her new information was used later in the month for other Now TV purchases.
Her account was frozen by the BST, who eventually told the victim that she would be reimbursed.
However, Mr Polglase said: “It took over four months to sort out and involved a trip to the bank, which put her at greater risk of catching Covid.”
The victim’s cousin and his wife had to help him sort out his financial affairs, including another payment for food and utilities.
Police discovered that Clark had spent £ 1,150 of the victim’s money with William Hill Online and £ 300 with Paddy Power Betfair.
After being temporarily suspended by Merseycare Julie Ann, she quit her job and returned her work phone, which was seized by officers.
Police attended Clark’s apartment on December 22 when they seized an iPhone, a Kindle tablet, a lever filing cabinet and a box of documents.
This was despite Clark claiming they would not find any electronic devices or documents, before suggesting that the tablet was being used by his then four-year-old daughter.
Mr Polglase said documents revealed that Clark’s benefits had been re-examined and his “inability to budget / manage money, erratic spending, gambling and high debt levels.”
She had recorded customer names and codes in their key vaults, noted a set of unidentified bank details, and used the iPhone and Kindle to make purchases using her victim’s card.
In addition to admitting a set of bank details found linked to his own account, Clark granted an interview without comment to the police.
The victim said she had felt “very betrayed” and no longer felt safe in her home and did not trust caregivers.
Mr Polglase said: “She said she didn’t feel angry with the accused, just upset, and she would like to ask the accused ‘why me?’.
Clark, who was previously convicted of drinking and driving in 1999, admitted to defrauding through abuse of position.
Jo Maxwell, defending, said Clark herself described it as a “horrible offense”.
However, she urged the judge to spare his prison and suggested that there was “a realistic prospect of rehabilitation”.
Ms Maxwell said Clark was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, depression and anxiety and, in June of this year, with agoraphobia.
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She said her client has since undergone six sessions with Talk Liverpool mental health clinic.
Ms Maxwell said the mother was the primary caregiver for her two young children, aged two and five.
The lawyer admitted that the children had a “caring and loving father”, who had indicated that if Clark was imprisoned he “would move in to care for them and is in a position to do so.”
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Ms Maxwell said Clark was ‘devastated’ by her actions and could pay her victim £ 100 a month as restitution.
Judge Anil Murray said Clark spent the elderly woman’s money on “supermarkets, gambling and sportswear.”
The judge said: “In her personal victim impact statement, she said that she considered you a friend and that you had betrayed her, which you did.”
He said Clark was in “poor health” and caring for two children, adding: “I have been told you could lose your house if he is sent to jail.”
Judge Murray said: “You are not viewed as a risk to the public. You have no history of poor compliance with court orders, you are viewed as a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, there is strong personal mitigation. your mental health issues, and immediate custody would have a significant negative impact on both of your children. ”
He sentenced her to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years and a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Judge Murray also ordered Clark to pay £ 1,200 in compensation and reserved himself any breach.
He said: “If you don’t follow this order or commit offenses, we will meet again and it is likely that I will have to lock you up.”
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