Suspended sentence for carer who stole almost £7,000 from two vunerable women
Sammie Jo Cooper, 33, of Shaw Road, Boston admitted two charges of committing fraud by false representation when she appeared at Boston Magistrates Court in January and was appearing now for sentence following a report from the Probation Service.
Prosecuting, Paul Wood said Cooper was employed as a support worker to elderly vulnerable adults with learning difficulties living in Joy Paine Close.
He said Cooper was responsible for withdrawing cash, using the victim's bank card, and purchase food shopping for her.
He said that between July and October 2019, she withdrew a total of £3,884 from various cash machines she was not entitled to and kept it for her own use.
Mr Wood said that in October 2019, Cooper went to work for the second victim, who also had learning difficulties as well as epilepsy, and between October and February 2020, she withdrew £3,010 she was not entitled to by using her card to withdraw money from her post office account.
He said that after another carer reported her suspicions about Cooper, she was arrested and alleged the victim was just confused and denied stealing any money.
She was released on bail while enquiries were made, but then the thefts from the first victim came to light and was she was arrested again and this time admitted all the thefts.
Mitigating, Lisa Elkington said Cooper had been suffering physical and emotional abuse at the time and her then partner would demand money from her she didn't have.
She said that additionally, he would threaten suicide if she left him and when she did, he did attempt suicide, which left him with brain damage.
Miss Elkington said Cooper, who has no previous convictions, wanted to repay the money and had saved up £2,000 from her benefits towards it.
The magistrates said it was a 'grave breach of trust' and sentenced her to 18 weeks in prison for each of the offences, to be served consecutively, a total of 36 weeks suspended for 18 months.
She was also ordered to pay a total of £3,000 in compensation.