Debt-stricken carer jailed for pocketing thousands from pensioners at Brownhills home
A debt-stricken carer who pocketed thousands after exploiting vulnerable pensioners has been locked up for 32 months.
Janice Leverett secretly snatched £5,000 from the trio of unsuspecting victims as she did their shopping for them.
The fraudster was trusted with the bank cards and pin numbers of the Brownhills women but instead helped herself to their cash.
She came before Judge Simon Ward for sentence, who said: "You were in a position of trust. Elderly and infirm people rely on their carers.
"They can't live their day to day lives unless carers come and do the shopping and the finances and the things that you have had to do.
"It's not just the practical reliance either, it's an emotional reliance as well. You took advantage of them."
Leverett came into contact with her victims at Knaves Court after being taken on by a friend who worked there providing cleaning and shopping services to residents at the High Street care home.
The 48-year-old claimed she needed extra cash to clear debts and support her low wages and so was employed by her friend on a casual basis to help out.
She eventually began doing the shopping for the victims, including a 68-year-old schizophrenic who was forced to use an oxygen mask to battle through her lung problems.
An 89-year-old, who had suffered a stroke, had mental health issues, poor eyesight and mobility, also fell victim to Leverett.
The third victim said the ordeal left her suffering with anxiety and feeling abandoned as she needs to rely on carers, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
Leverett took advantage of their trust, using banks cards provided to her to withdraw more money than requested, prosecutor Mr John Evans said.
Her offending came to light when the sons of one of the women became concerned about outgoings, with police later informed.
Defence barrister Ms Kamalpreet Shergill said the withdrawals were initially 'legitimate' before Leverett, then of Carlton Crescent, Burntwood, began taking more than she was entitled to.
The grandmother-of-six, now of Jubilee Court, Nowton Road, Bury St Edmunds, knows it is unlikely she will be employed again as a carer, the barrister added.
Ms Shergill said the fraudster suffers from depression and anxiety, adding: "She was not feeling herself and clearly made a big mistake around the time of these offences."
Leverett, who had previous convictions for offences involving theft and deception in the 80s and 90s, initially denied three counts of fraud between December 2015 and June 2016, but changed her plea at the court hearing.