Carer jailed for stealing from patient

A NORTH carer has been jailed for “fleecing” her elderly patient out of thousands of pounds.

A NORTH carer has been jailed for “fleecing” her elderly patient out of thousands of pounds.

Caroline Irvine

Caroline Irvine stole £3,650 from 83-year-old Thelma Hall over a nine month period while supposedly caring for the pensioner.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Irvine, 47, of Grange View, Widdrington, near Morpeth, Northumberland, was jailed for six months.

The mother-of-two, had early denied theft but was found guilty by a jury last month.

The court had heard that Irvine, also known as Maddison, claimed to have withdrawn the cash on Miss Hall’s behalf between March and November 2005 while she was working as an employee of Carewatch.

Irvine told police that Miss Hall was addicted to shopping, buying new clothes every day and liked to go out regularly.

But the jury heard the truth was that the pensioner lived a “particularly modest and meagre lifestyle”, surviving on yoghurt and mashed potatoes and shopping at charity stores.

Irvine was alleged to have used Ms Hall’s cash point card to withdraw £4,650, a large proportion of which never went to her. The jury heard that there were 24 transactions, which in one month alone amounted to £1,400 – far more than Ms Hall used.

The pensioner, who has spent a long period of her life in Northgate Hospital in Morpeth, Northumberland, has learning difficulties and is incapable of looking after her finances alone.

Defending, Tony Cornberg, said Irvine, who has no previous convictions, had “went that extra mile” as a carer and taken her patient out on day trips.

He added: “That’s the end of that as far as her career is concerned.”

The court heard that Irvine was prepared to repay the money despite being on benefits.

Sentencing her to six months in prison, Judge Michael Cartlidge said her 83-year-old victim was “extremely vulnerable”.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer