Jail for private carer who stole £37,000
- Credit: Archant
A WORLE carer who was hired to look after a woman with cerebal palsy has been jailed for two years after instead stealing her lifesavings.
Bristol Crown Court heard during a trial in October how Katherine Gregory stole more than £37,000 from 44-year-old Tania Crowie.
Gregory, of Blackthorn Gardens, had been hired as a private carer for Ms Crowie in 2010, supporting her at her home in Yate, in South Gloucestershire.
However, early in their relationship Gregory suggested Ms Crowie change her banking arrangements to allow online transactions.
Although Ms Crowie had never done so before, she agreed – and within a week, Gregory had begun transferring large amounts of cash to her own account.
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Over the subsequent 12 months, Gregory siphoned around £35,500 from Ms Crowie’s account without her knowledge or consent.
Gregory was sacked in 2011 for unrelated matters, but even after leaving the job still took another £2,000.
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She admitted to the court that her quality of life had been ‘better’ at that time, and she had enjoyed holidays in America.
Ms Crowie discovered the money had gone in early 2012 and reported the matter to police.
Gregory was arrested by Detective Constable Stephen Milkins of Weston CID, who carried out a complex and lengthy investigation which resulted in Gregory being charged with theft in December of that year.
The 31-year-old denied stealing the money, and instead told jurors that Ms Crowie had deliberately transferred the money to prevent her savings compromising her benefit claims.
However, that idea was denied in court by Ms Crowie, who insisted she had been unaware of the money transfers.
Jurors rejected Gregory’s argument, finding her guilty, and she returned to court this week to be sentenced to two years behind bars.
Speaking after the case, DC Milkins said: “This was an atrocious case of a breach of trust by a carer who was supposed to be providing a level of care to a very vulnerable member of society.
“Yesterday’s sentence of two years imprisonment of Gregory demonstrates we are fully committed to supporting vulnerable members of society, ensuring their views are heard, listened to and acted upon, to bring those who abuse positions of trust to justice.
“We sincerely hope that Ms Crowie can draw some closure on what has been an extremely stressful period of her life and that she can now begin to rebuild her trust in people.”
Gregory will return to court in March for a separate hearing to rule on how much money or assets the court can seize as a result of her theft.