Carer who stole £10k from elderly clients to buy clothes and pay off daughter's debts walks free (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Carer who stole £10k from elderly clients to buy clothes and pay off daughter's debts walks free
A CARER who plundered £10,000 from the bank accounts of two elderly women has walked free from court after being handed a suspended sentence.
Lorraine Farrow, 41, of Avenue Road, Christchurch, worked for a company which cared for clients in their homes when she stole the money from two Bournemouth women aged 86 and 94 to buy clothes, an expensive watch and pay off her daughter’s debts.
She pleaded guilty to three counts of theft at an earlier hearing.
Anita Gibson-Lee told Bournemouth Crown Court that Farrow had been employed by Home Instead Senior Care’s Bournemouth office for three and a half years when the offences took place last year.
The first victim was 86-year-old Ivy Rhymer who was cared for by Farrow between June 2011 and February 2012 and later employed her on a private basis.
It was during the private arrangement Mrs Rhymer trusted Farrow with two bank cards and their pin numbers.
Farrow stole £9,531.25 from the accounts in just three to four months, the court heard Miss Gibson-Lee said when the pensioner approached Farrow she begged “please don’t shop me” and threatened to kill herself if she did.
Miss Gibson-Lee said the second victim was Betty Morgan, 94, who was registered blind and received three-weekly visits from Farrow.
Her son Christopher discovered that money was missing and contacted social services. A total of £800 was taken from her bank accounts.
Mr Morgan told police about the “profound effect” the crime had on his mother and said she’d “lost a lot of the spark she previously had”.
Robert Griffiths, mitigating, said Farrow had led a difficult life plagued with physical and mental illnesses following the breakdown of her marriage.
He said she’d lost her job and was “glad” she had been caught.
Judge Roger Jarvis handed Farrow, who sobbed throughout the hearing, a 21-month jail term suspended for two years.
“It was shameful behaviour. Society finds this type of offence particularly distasteful.”
He ordered Farrow to pay all the money back to her victims.
Speaking after the case, Nigel Hiscock of Dorset Police said the force, together with other agencies, will support and work with vulnerable victims and their families.
“We will investigate these offences and take people to court.”
The ‘massive impact’
Speaking about Farrow’s victims, Mr Hiscock added: “These offences have had a massive impact on their outlook of people. They have lost the trust of people and this has clearly affected their health.
“They are both having great difficulty in coming to terms with what has happened and feel it is their fault.
“Home Instead Care has been very supportive of the investigation. They have been deeply affected by what has happened and would like to reassure all clients that the best of care will be maintained.”
‘We deeply regret the the distress’
Amanda Baker, owner of Home Instead Senior Care Bournemouth, said Farrow was a carer with the Bournemouth office and underwent CRB/DBS checks.
The company also received three professional and three personal references, which were all clear.
“Ms Farrow was suspended from duty pending a disciplinary hearing earlier this year.
“Since that time we have been in close contact with our client and her family and have worked with the Care Quality Commission, the police and the local safeguarding team in bringing a resolution to this matter.
“Home Instead Senior Care considers the safeguarding of our clients to be our number one priority.
“We deeply regret the distress the situation has caused the client concerned, their families and our staff.”
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