A heartless care worker has been jailed for 12 months after stealing from an elderly patient with Alzheimer’s disease.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard last Thursday, April 10, how Amanda Alesbrook, 49, of Derby Road, Matlock Bath, was caught on CCTV sneaking money out of victim Valerie Gray’s purse at her Matlock home.
Rebecca Allsop, prosecuting, said the family of the 80–year–old victim had grown suspicious after noticing she had less money than expected and her son marked two £20 notes and placed them in his mother’s purse.
Mrs Allsop said: “The son set up a camera to record the position of the purse.”
These notes were found in the defendant’s purse, according to Mrs Allsop.
Mrs Allsop added: “She stated she’d taken the bank notes. She’d put them in her purse.”
Alesbrook, who originally claimed Mrs Gray gave her the cash, pleaded guilty to the theft of £40 from Mrs Gray in January.
At the time of the offence, Alesbrook was the subject of a community order given to her on January 8 for shoplifting.
Julie Page, defending, said the defendant had worked for Care Relief Team, of Chesterfield, for almost eight years with an unblemished record before she was fired.
Ms Page added: “She really can offer no explanation why she took the money. We are talking about a lady who seems to have gone off the rails a bit. She’s clearly a lady who doesn’t shy away from hard work. She’s disappointed in herself.”
Alesbrook claimed to be suffering from depression and said she was a full time carer for her 19–year–old son. Magistrate David Sobczak told Alesbrook: “The most vulnerable people in our society deserve our protection and exploiting the vulnerable must be punished. The victim was 80 and extremely vulnerable. You were in a position of trust and in the victim’s home.”