Carer avoids jail after taking £1,700 from disabled friend
A carer, who siphoned £1,700 in one month from the bank account of the severely disabled friend she was supposed to be looking after, has avoided a jail sentence.
Judith Jones was convicted by a jury of using the bank card of Parkinson's disease and muscular dystrophy sufferer Linda Hickman to illegally withdraw the cash.
She was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday. Judge Martin Walsh decided not to send her straight to jail because of her previous good character.
The court earlier heard how Jones had been trusted after going out with Miss Hickman's brother Terry for 39 years and had been given her bank card PIN number.
Jones, aged 63, had been allowed to withdraw spending money for wheelchair-bound Miss Hickman but the carer secretly withdrew more money.
The deception was uncovered when Miss Hickman saw a bank statement that arrived at her Bilston home.
Mr Simon Williams, defending, said: "It was a small quantity money. She provided unpaid care over a period of time." But Judge Walsh referred to Jones's offences as "despicable".
Jones, of Grange Road, Coseley, was given a 26-week sentence suspended for two years and a three-month curfew. She will also have to pay £1,500 compensation to Miss Hickman. She was found guilty of seven counts of fraud.
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