Victim, 82, tells of being ‘betrayed’ after carer stole money ‘given by army after daughter’s death’

Newcastle Crown Court.
Newcastle Crown Court.

An elderly widow has told how she feels “betrayed” by a carer who stole more than £5,000 from her – and spared a jail sentence.

Trusted carer Joanne Carr, 33, of Wenlock Road, South Shields, took the cash from the 83-year old woman – who lives at Thomas Bell House in South Shields – by using the victim’s card over a period of five months.

Jonanne Carr

Jonanne Carr

Yesterday, Carr was given an eight month suspended prison sentence when she appeared at Newcastle Crown Court, having pleaded guilty to theft at a previous hearing.

The victim said: “She has a child so I understand why she hasn’t gone to prison.

“The money had been given from the army after my daughter died and she knew that.

“I thought the world of that lass, she used to come in and ask if there was anything I needed from the shops, even on her days off and I thought wasn’t she lovely.

“She has betrayed my trust.”

A widow of 20 years, the woman relies on oxygen and is wheelchair bound.

Peter Schofield, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court how the victim asked Carr to do some grocery shopping for her when she was admitted to hospital and handed over her bank card and pin number.

Mother-of-two Carr then withdrew £5,750 using the victim’s card on about 21 occasions between August 2017 and January 2018.

Mr Schofield said that it was not until the victim’s daughter checked the payment of a gas bill on her mother’s bank statement that the withdrawals were discovered.

The family notified the management of the home who confronted Carr.

The court heard how the police became involved and Carr offered to reimburse the victim. Mr Schofield said the victim was reimbursed for the amount taken.

Penny Hall, defending, said Carr had made a “very foolish decision at the time of these offences” but that she never intended it to go on for the period of time it did.

Miss Hall said at the time, Carr was “struggling to pay bills and struggling to feed her family.

Recorder Sophie Drake sentenced Carr to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months with a rehabilitation activity requirement.

She was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £140 victim surcharge.