A Corby woman who stole more than £1,000 from an elderly patient and then claimed she found it in a bag of clothes has avoided prison.
Sarah Samuels-Hammond, 41, was found guilty of stealing £1,128 from a 73-year-old man she cared for.
Yesterday (Tuesday), Northampton Crown Court heard how the carer looked after an agoraphobic man in Kettering.
She did his shopping and withdrew his pension from a Post Office bank account but, without her employer’s knowledge, the victim gave her permisson to withdraw money from a second bank account.
Samuels-Hammond made six withdrawals totalling £1,700 over a four-week period.
A total of £1,128 of this was unnaccounted for but a day after she was suspended from her role, she called her employers claiming she had found money in a bag of clothes the victim had given her to wash.
Prosecuting, Priya Bakshi said: “She admitted that she made the withdrawals but could not explain why there were so many.
“She called her employers and said she had a bag of the victim’s clothes and there was a lot of money in there.
“The victim was asked about it and said that he never put any money in a bag of clothes.”
From the money recovered, £98 was still missing.
A victim impact statement read out in court said that the victim was ‘disappointed’ and that he felt his trust had been abused.
Mitigating, James Armstrong-Holmes said Samuels-Hammond cared for her ill husband and that a suspended sentence would suffice.
He said: “She takes him [her husband] to hospital and he will need ongoing care and support.
“There is nobody else that can [care for him].
“This offence clearly crosses the custody threshold but it could be suspended in light of the difficulties Mrs Samuels-Hammond and her family face.”
His Honour Judge Fowler gave Samuels-Hammond a one-year prison sentence suspended for two years.
She was also made to take 15 days of rehabilitation requirements, be placed under a curfew and pay compensation of £98.
Sentencing, Judge Fowler said: “This was a breach of trust.
“It was taking advantage of someone who was vulnerable.
“Your whole job was to look after him and his money.”