A Northampton carer has been jailed after stealing an estimated £73,000 over the course of three years from an elderly woman with dementia she was looking after.
Tania Gill used 89-year-old Vera Nurse's bank funds for foreign holidays, a car and online gambling in what His Honour Judge Fowler described as a monstrous offence.
The 56-year-old, of Quantock Crescent, Duston, was sentenced to 20 months in prison at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (Friday, September 13).
The judge said it was particularly sad as she had led a 'respectable' life before her crime, which left her victim worried about how she would pay for her care.
"It's a sad day that you're before the court, sad for yourself and for your own children - I know they will feel the effect it's had on them as much as yourself," he said.
The theft came to light in September 2016, when Mrs Nurse's grandson found many of her bank statements were missing.
Once he got them from her bank, he discovered "regular and significant" cash withdrawals dating back to 2013, which she had not made, the prosecution lawyer told the court.
Upon further inspection, the withdrawals were all when Gill, who was one of the carers from Northampton-based Harmony Homecare who looked after Mrs Nurse in her home, was on duty.
She was arrested but denied all involvement so police inspected her bank account and found she had gone from regularly being in her overdraft to having a "growing" balance.
Judge Fowler said: "You found yourself in a position where it was, within your domestic circumstance, attractive to have money to spend on yourself and others. That's what prompted you to take this money.
"It was in no way extravagant living but it was used for luxuries that were beyond what you would normally be expected to pay for."
The prosecution lawyer told the court that Mrs Nurse has been left worried about her finances.
"She now lives in a care home and worries about her ability to pay it," he said.
"She speaks about the effect it's had on her ability to buy gifts for her grandchildren which she did before her money was stolen."
Gill changed her plea to 'guilty' ahead of the trial which was due to take place this month.
Her defence lawyer said it would take a lifetime for her to pay back what she stole so recommended a custodial sentence, adding that she acknowledges its necessity.
Sentencing Gill, Judge Fowler said she had led a productive life raising four children and the greatest shame would be her family finding out what she had done.
"It was a breach of her trust to take advantage of an elderly lady in that way," he said.