A Herefordshire CAREER has been jailed for six months after stealing £6,500 from a severely disabled patient.
Worcester Crown Court heard how Sarah Bevan, 39, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position after the patient’s daughter noticed an unusual transaction in the bank account.
Some £500 was originally stolen, which prosecution lawyer Morgan Pirone said was for flowers and a wedding photographer. This was refunded but on further inspection the daughter noticed that at least another £6,500 had been taken and felt it was much more.
Mr Pirone described the victim as vulnerable and having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and unable to move from the neck down – except for some mobility in one hand.
Addressing the court, the victim’s daughter said her mother needed 24-hour carer and Bevan took advantage of her vulnerability.
She said the crime had “devastated” the family and caused her mother stress, sleepless nights and an inability to trust people.
She said her mother’s vulnerability was exploited to the worst level, and the court also heard how the victim felt compelled to install CCTV cameras in her home to prevent something similar from happening in the future.
In a statement, the victim also said she felt her “extreme vulnerability” had been “attacked” and destroyed her confidence.
Defense barrister Patrick Kelly said Bevan, of Monkton Place in St Weonards, had “deep regrets” and remorse.
She was going through a difficult time in her own life, including struggles with her relationships and her own mental health, but had “learned her lesson” after stealing the money.
The court also heard how Bevan and began to reimburse the money to the victim.
Judge Jim Tindal said Bevan abused a position of trust by committing the offense over an “extended period”, causing a significant impact on the victim and her family.
Sentencing Bevan to six months in prison, the judge said the breach of trust and the impact were so great that only immediate detention was warranted.