‘Friend’ sys­tem­at­i­cally stole frail pen­sioner’s sav­ings

Woman trusted with bank cards and pin took £35k from el­derly lady

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

An­gela Cor­bett, 47, of Pa­trons Way West, Den­ham be­friended the vic- tim, who is in her 80s, while stay­ing with her mother at an as­sisted liv­ing hous­ing de­vel­op­ment for the el­derly at Den­ham Gar­den Vil­lage.

The de­fen­dant stole more than £35,000 from her over a 17-month pe­riod.

The crime was only spot­ted when the vic­tim, who has since been trans­ferred to a spe­cial­ist de­men­tia fa­cil­ity and is un­able to look af­ter her­self, was un­able to pay her rent be­cause of in­suf­fi­cient funds.

Be­tween April 2014 and Au­gust 2015, both women were liv­ing at the fa­cil­ity and Cor­bett gained the el­derly woman’s trust as well as her bank card and PIN num­ber, ini­tially to help her with shop­ping, pay­ing bills and day-to­day ex­penses.

Cor­bett be­gan to with­draw in­creas­ing amounts of money at a time from the vic­tim’s cur­rent ac­count and even trans­ferred money from her ISA sav­ings ac­count to her cur­rent ac­count to be with­drawn.

Thames Valley Po­lice ar­rested Cor­bett on Au­gust 26, 2015, and charged her in con­nec­tion with the of­fences the fol­low­ing month, on Septem­ber 21.

Cor­bett had pleaded guilty to one charge of theft to­talling £30,000 on March 2, 2017 and was sen­tenced, at Ayles­bury Crown Court on Wed­nes­day April 5.

Case in­ves­ti­ga­tor Kevin Cling­ham, of Taplow, said: “A to­tal sum of £35,962.50 was with­drawn from the vic­tim’s cur­rent ac­count be­tween 21 April 2014 and 20 Au­gust 2015 – 239 sep­a­rate cash with­drawal trans­ac­tions took place.

“This trans­lated to an av­er­age of one cash with­drawal every two days be­tween these dates.

“In De­cem­ber 2014, 29 sep­a­rate trans­ac­tions took place over a 31-day pe­riod and more than £5,000 was with­drawn dur­ing this month.

“When Cor­bett was ar­rested she claimed that Betty gave her per­mis­sion to spend her money.

“Up to her trial she main­tained her in­no­cence.

“The crime was only un­cov­ered when car­ers act­ing for the vic­tim dis­cov­ered she could not pay her rent one month be­cause of in­suf­fi­cient funds.

“If Cor­bett had not been so greedy and re­duced the vic­tim’s ac­count to zero, there is every like­li­hood that she could have con­tin­ued spend­ing the vic­tim’s money with­out be­ing dis­cov­ered.

“Sadly the vic­tim has now been ad­mit­ted to a spe­cial­ist de­men­tia care home as she is un­able to look af­ter her­self.

“Thames Valley Po­lice takes all re­ports of such of­fences se­ri­ously and I would ad­vise keep­ing credit and debit cards safe and not to di­vulge your PIN num­ber .

“I’m pleased that Cor­bett has ad­mit­ted her wrong­do­ing and will have time in cus­tody to re­flect upon her ac­tions.”

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