Woman ripped off disabled sister

derby crown court
derby crown court

A compulsive spender got ten months jail for stealing £11,650 from her sister who is deaf and has learning problems.

The cash vanished from the woman’s bank account although she had been “incredibly generous” to 48-year-old Amanda Johnson, a court heard.

Her support included helping to pay the mortgage of Johnson of Hufton’s Court, Marlpool, who admitted theft.

Derby Crown Court heard that Johnson, had personal problems at the time and said the theft had made her feel “dirty” and described herself as “scum.”

Judge John Burgess said a probation report spoke of her “spending problems” but told Johnson:”I am afraid that is indicative of greed.

“I accept you are remorseful and describe yourself in words many might agree with.

“You exploited your sister, an extremely vulnerable woman, who is profoundly deaf and has learning difficulties.

“She was incredibly generous for whatever reason, provided £90,000 to pay off your mortgage and gave you substantial sums of money in signing cheques for you.”

But the judge said Johnson was being jailed for making bank withdrawals over the internet, without her sister’s knowledge.

Nicki Forster, prosecuting, said the victim’s husband used to look after her finances but he died in February 2007.

Later that year, her sister moved in and stayed until March 2008.

The sister accepted she gave her money by cheque and also by using a bank card.

But she never used the internet for banking and withdrawals had been made by this method.

Eleanor Fry, mitigating, said Johnson was “under intense pressure” at the time and had many problems.

She told the judge:”The sister had been incredibly generous with her and she expresses remorse and indicated that the circumstances left her feeling in some way dirty.

“She has a very sincere feeling and to use her word of ‘scum.’ She has let herself down, let her family down and has let her sister down with her actions.”

Johnson had volunteered to repay the cash as soon as possible but accepted she would never rebuild the relationship with her sister.

Miss Fry said Johnson faced personal problems and added:”That manifested itself on her part by erratic and compulsive spending.

“It was not solely motivated by greed.

“There were other factors playing a great part in the defendant’s life which caused her to commit this offence.”

She said Johnson had been studying law but accepted she would now be unable to work in that field.

Johnson had never been in trouble before.

She must repay the cash as well as £340 prosecution costs.