A CARER who was caught stealing necklaces and cash from her 81-year-old client has avoided an immediate prison sentence.
Claire Louise Pugh, 28, of Ridgemoor Road, Leominster , was convicted after trial of two counts of theft from Jordan Fisher.
Kerry Lovegrove, prosecuting at Hereford Magistrates Court on Monday, said that following suspicions from family members a security camera was put up in the home of Mr Fisher, who suffers from Parkinsons.
The victim has mobility issues and needs a carer to come to his address three times a day.
At 5.10pm on February 7, the defendant entered the address taking three gold necklaces and £20 in cash before leaving.
Police were contacted and when questioned about the offence Pugh said that the necklaces had been given to her and the £20 cash was to buy Mr Fisher a newspaper.
“This was deliberate targetting of a vulnerable victim and a great deal of trust is placed in carers,” said Mrs Lovegrove.
All the goods taken during the incident were recovered.
Natalie Johnson-Stanley, probation officer, said that Pugh, a mother-of-three, was still adamant that the necklaces were given to her as a gift.
She added that Pugh had lost her employment due to the offence.
Chris Read, mitigating, said that he was ‘surprised’ to hear the offence labelled as deliberate targetting.
“She had been in contact with Mr Fisher for over a year, there had been no issues and they had a good relationship,” said Mr Read.
“It was no deliberate targetting. Pugh volunteered that the necklaces had been taken as the gentleman had no idea they had taken. Nobody was aware of them having been taken.”
Magistrates said that Pugh showed ‘little or no remorse’ for the theft offences.
They sentenced her to 13 weeks in prison to run consecutively for both offences and suspended the sentence for 18 month.
Pugh was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and to pay £200 compensation to Mr Fisher for the distress caused.
She was also ordered to pay £420 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.