A trusted carer, sentenced just eight weeks ago for stealing from a 90-year-old woman, has been back in court admitting more thefts from the same victim.
Heather Hannah’s “wicked” behaviour was caught on a covert camera set up by the pensioner’s suspicious son, an ex-policeman.
When she appeared before Liverpool Magistrates’ Court in February she faced just one charge involving stealing £20 from the woman’s purse and was sentenced to a 12 month community order.
District Judge Wendy Lloyd told her that it had been “really shocking.”
Further investigations have now led to her ending up before Sefton magistrates where she admitted a further four theft offences from the pensioner.
These offences involved a total of £120 stolen on four separate occasions last October, all pre-dating the original offence which took place on October 29.
54-year-old Hannah, of Queens Road, Southport, was given another 12 month community order and told to carry out 150 hours unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay her victim £120 compensation and prosecution costs and victim surcharge totalling £180.
At the earlier sentencing hearing the court heard that she had been employed by the victim for a number of years as a home help and would go to her home on a weekly basis to carry out cleaning and help with shopping.
Last September the pensioner "became suspicious" that money was going missing from her bedside drawer, so she moved it to another drawer only to find the same thing happening.
As the defendant was the only person to enter the flat due to Covid restrictions she became suspicious and spoke to her son about it.
He made a note of the serial numbers and set up a camera, which captured Hannah taking £20 from the purse on October 29.
Hannah was arrested and police found £220 in her handbag - with one of the notes having the same serial number noted down by her son.
When interviewed Hannah said that the money was to pay her rent and bills and she was going to pay it into her bank.
She said she cared for around 20 people and said she "didn't steal from any other people".
In a victim impact statement the woman said that Hannah had been recommended to her by a friend and explained that during lockdown Hannah began doing more jobs for her.
She said: "Firstly I doubted myself thinking I had misplaced it - I didn't think it could possibly be Heather."
She stated, "I was in complete disbelief she would do such a thing to me. A person should be able to feel safe in their own home. It made me question the faith I once had in people."
At the first hearing Rory McCormack, defending, told the court that during the lockdown Hannah worked nearly seven days a week for the same amount of money as she was paid for her previous role, which was £42 a week. “She found it all a little too much.”
He said, "She does seem to have had something of a breakdown and it all came to a head on that particular occasion."