Carer who stole from dementia sufferer handed jail sentence

A CARE worker who stole more than £12,000 from a dementia sufferer has been jailed for eight months after a judge finally lost patience with her.

Forty-two-year-old Lorraine Sharman was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence in June last year when she admitted taking the money from elderly Robert Bird after being given access to his bank card and PIN number.

Sharman, of Carver Road, Boston, was also ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work in the community after she pleaded guilty to the theft of £12,251 between 2008 and 2010.

But a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday) was told Sharman failed to attend for a number of unpaid work sessions and missed one appointment because she had no money for her lunch.

The court was told Sharman was given a last chance to improve her attendance when she appeared in court last November but had still just completed just 73 hours of her unpaid work order.

Jailing Sharman for eight months Judge Sean Morris said he was quite satisfied that the original senetnce was now ‘unworkable’.

Judge Morris told Sharman: “I warned you that if you did not comply with the order you would go to prison.”

The court was told Sharman was employed by Mr Bird as a domestic home help to do his cleaning, washing and shopping.

Her dishonesty came to light when it was discovered that Mr Bird was £3,000 in arrears with the rent on his warden-controlled flat and his bank account was £1,000 overdrawn.

Eventually a social services worker called in police and investigations showed that Sharman had taken money from the account on more than 100 occasions

She later told police that she was heavily in debt and was using the money to pay her rent, gas and elelectricity bills as well as her daughter’s gym fees.

Mr Bird’s health was such that he was unable to make a statement about the offences. He subsequently passed away.