Home carer took £7,411 from elderly Northampton woman’s bank account

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A home carer from Northampton used her elderly patient’s bank card to take more than £7,000 from her account in the days before her victim died.

German-born Elke Hemmersbach, of Hood Street, Northampton sobbed in the dock when she entered a guilty plea to the charge of fraud by abuse of position at Northampton Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The 48-year-old was one of a team of people charged with the round-the-clock care of a now-deceased elderly woman in Northampton.

But between March 25 and the pensioner’s death on June 13, Hemmersbach made 52 separate transactions using the woman’s bank card over the three-month period.

Prosecuting, Nigel Chapman said her fraud was only exposed after the elderly woman’s death.

Her next of kin - a niece from Ireland - came to Northampton to “sort out the estate and close her accounts,” Mr Chapman said, and noticed a number of anomalies.

“When checking bank statements she became suspicious about the sort of spending which had been outside of her aunt’s normal pattern of expenditure.” Mr Chapman said.

“More than £7,411 had been withdrawn which couldn’t be accounted for by way of normal ATM withdrawals.”

Hemmersbach, who was tasked with buying the elderly woman’s shopping using a bank card, admitted to the offence under police interview in July.

The court heard how police investigations revealed that the extra spending on the bank card related to the times Hemmersbach was on duty. The carer said that she never took more than £50 out at a time and disputed that on one occasion she took up to £250.

Defending, John Weaver did not enter any mitigation at the hearing yesterday as district judge Tim Daber viewed the offence as too serious to be sentenced in a magistrates’ court.

Hemmersbach was given unconditional bail and adjourned the case for sentencing at Northampton Crown Court on January 24, to give probation services time to draw up a full report on the 48-year-old.