Ex-social worker stole from disabled man to fund painkiller habit
A SOCIAL worker turned escort stole £1,600-worth of goods from a disabled client she had agreed to care for before pawning them to fund her addiction to painkillers.
Mum-of-three Michelle Kershaw grabbed a guitar, synthesiser and iPhone from a wheelchair-bound man who had hired her to go on a date with him.
The 45-year-old, who had previously worked for social services, had agreed to act as carer for the man before stealing the items from his flat in Urmston, Trafford.
The man, who is in his 50s, was being treated in hospital for brittle bone disease at the time.
Kershaw, from Mossley, Tameside, was handed a community order after pleading guilty to theft at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.
She was also ordered to pay £1,600 in compensation to the man and £500 court costs – and complete 100 hours unpaid work.
Prosecuting, James Gore said Kershaw falsely claimed the items were gifts given to her by the victim, despite the fact she had pawned them.
The court heard Kershaw had an addiction to painkillers and sold the goods to get cash for tablets.
“The complainant finds it difficult to get around and he contacted Miss Kershaw through an escort agency in June 2016,” Mr Gore said.
“In July the defendant then undertook some care duties for him. [The victim] was in hospital and his father was looking after the flat when he saw the defendant removing some items.
“Those items were then taken to Cash Converter and she pawned them for cash.”
In mitigation, Kershaw’s lawyer Liz Ridgeway said her client had to leave her job as a social worker after her sister was diagnosed with cancer.
She received welfare payments, but got involved with an escort agency to make extra cash to support her family.
Ms Ridgeway said Kershaw’s sister later died, before her client had a ‘psychiatric breakdown’ and began ‘self-medicating’ with prescription painkillers.
Former social worker Michelle Kershaw became an escort and stole from a wheelchair-bound client