Mother spared jail af­ter theft from pen­sioner

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

A WO­MAN who conned her way into the home of an el­derly man and stole from him has es­caped a jail sen­tence.

Rachel Car­pen­ter had pre­vi­ously been jailed for three years for a sim­i­lar of­fence and for black­mail.

In the latest case, a judge branded the 38-year-old mother “thor­oughly dis­hon­est” but im­posed a sus­pended prison sen­tence with re­quire­ments in an at­tempt to steer her away from crime.

Maid­stone Crown Court heard that vic­tim Peter Philpott was at home in Mer­sham on July 18, last year, when there was a tap on the door and Car­pen­ter ap­peared in his din­ing room.

Trevor Wright, pros­e­cut­ing, said that Car­pen­ter asked for di­rec­tions to Sha­dox­hurst and also wanted a glass of wa­ter. Mr Philpott, 81, in­stead made her a cup of tea.

Car­pen­ter asked him how much money he had and if she could bor­row £500. When he re­fused, she asked for £100.

She then of­fered him “ser­vices” in re­turn for pay­ment, the court heard. She sug­gested a mas­sage. He laughed and de­clined.

While Mr Philpott was in the bed­room, Car­pen­ter left with two pairs of trousers from the din­ing room. In one pair was his wal­let and keys to his garage and car.

Mr Wright said that Car­pen­ter, of Reach­fields, Hythe, left be­hind a note, giv­ing her name as Lucy and say­ing that she was avail­able to carry out jobs for him.

On Au­gust 7, Car­pen­ter re­turned to the house and told Mr Philpott that she wanted to apol­o­gise for tak­ing his trousers. She wanted to go in but the vic­tim re­fused.

“Once again, she of­fered him ser­vices,” said the pros­e­cu­tor. “She said she gave mas­sages and so on. He de­clined.”

Mr Wright said that Car­pen­ter’s DNA was ob­tained from the cup from which she drank the tea.

Car­pen­ter, he said, was li­able to serve al­most a year re­main­ing from the three-year sen­tence im­posed in April 2004.

Ed­ward Risso-Gill, de­fend­ing, said that Car­pen­ter had been a clean­ing su­per­vi­sor for a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany. She was liv­ing be­yond her means and lost her job, he said.

The mother of a teenage boy, she had been di­ag­nosed with de­pres­sion.

“Plainly, this is not a dan­ger­ous wo­man,” said Mr Risso-Gill.

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