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Byline: Paul Beard COURT REPORTER

A HEARTLESS carer who stole cash from a frail pensioner's bank account has avoided a jail sentence.

Rachel Richardson was convicted of taking PS500 from her 79-year-old victim, who was disabled and bedridden.

She was caught on CCTV using his bank card to withdraw two lots of PS250 from a cashpoint at a shop below his flat in Warwick Road, Solihull.

Richardson, 41, of Gilbertstone Avenue, Yardley, at first claimed the pensioner had lent her the money to pay for the upkeep of her horse.

A court heard she later accepted that had been a lie but insisted the OAP had agreed to loan her the cash - a claim he denied.

Jane Sarginson, prosecuting, said Richardson was "trusted not only to do the job but not to take advantage of a vulnerable member of the community".

She added that "fortunately, he was not as far gone as Mrs Richardson believed".

And Ms Sarginson described the pensioner as a "disabled, bedridden man who could not fend for himself".

Giving evidence via a television link, the OAP said he could only move about with difficulty and relied on carers who came to his flat to get him out of bed and prepared his meals.

He discovered cash was missing from his account when he checked his bank statement in October, 2011, after a stay in hospital.

Richardson was convicted of stealing the money by a majority verdict of 11 to one. She was cleared of four other theft charges.

After an adjournment for a pre-sentence report, she was handed an 18-week sus-pended sentence, with 12 months' supervision.

Sitting at Coventry Crown Court, Judge Peter Carr also ordered Richardson to pay PS500 compensation.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 14, 2013
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