Ex-so­cial worker stole from dis­abled man to fund painkiller habit

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By AMY WALKER news­desk@men-news.co.uk @MENnews­desk

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

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