Carer jailed for tak­ing sav­ings

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By STEPHEN BRIGGS

A CARER who stole £20,500 from a vul­ner­a­ble neigh­bour to fund a bet­ter life­style, in­clud­ing hol­i­days to France, was jailed yes­ter­day.

Brenda Rodo (64) of Naseby Close, West­wood, Peter­bor­ough, took life sav­ings be­long­ing to Michael Mankertz, who has learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, while she was car­ing for him.

Al­though she man­aged to pay back the money, a crown court judge branded her dis­hon­est and ir­re­spon­si­ble and sent her to prison.

Rodo had been car­ing for Mr Mankertz af­ter his mother died in 2003 and had got into rent trou­ble and started tak­ing money from Mr Mankertz to pay off her debts. Her of­fend­ing soon es­ca­lated, us­ing money to pay for hol­i­days, car in­surance and other items over a five year pe­riod.

Her of­fend­ing was dis­cov­ered when an­other neigh­bour found Mr Mankertz sob­bing in his gar­den af­ter he dis­cov­ered his life sav­ings had gone.

Yes­ter­day Rodo ap­peared at Peter­bor­ough Crown Court where de­spite telling the court she had paid all the money back to her vic­tim, she was jailed for one year for seven counts of theft, eight of ob­tain­ing prop­erty by de­cep­tion, one of forgery and four of ob­tain­ing a pe­cu­niary ad­van­tage by de­cep­tion, with each sen­tence to be served con­cur­rently. She had pleaded guilty to all of­fences at a pre­vi­ous hear­ing, and had been given the chance to pay the money back by Judge Peter De Mille.

De­fend­ing, Bene­dict Peers told the court: “She has kept faith with Your Hon­our’s request to pay back the sum, all be it at the 11th hour.

“She is the sole carer of her hus­band Alf, who suf­fered a brain tu­mour in 1987.

“It would ap­pear that money prob­lems were the trig­ger in this of­fence.

“She has paid back all her debts, and has shown re­morse for her ac­tions.”

How­ever, Judge De Mille said: “It may have been the trig­ger, but it is no ex­cuse.

“She had £1,000 of debts, but she stole £20,000.

“And it would seem that even when she had taken the money she failed to make pay­ment on her debts and amassed a fur­ther £7,000. She is not only dis­hon­est but ir­re­spon­si­ble.

“Up un­til the pay­ment of the £20,000 there is no ev­i­dence of her do­ing any­thing other than say­ing the right thing rather than do­ing them. You were in a po­si­tion of trust and he was a vul­ner­a­ble vic­tim.

“The way you opened and closed his ac­counts was care­fully planned and ma­nip­u­la­tive.

“It may be that you had fi­nan­cial prob­lems but you used the pro­ceeds to en­hance your life­style, in­clud­ing many trips to France - you even tried to jus­tify your of­fend­ing by buy­ing your vic­tim cig­a­rettes on your trips. Your dis­abled hus­band, who will not re­ceive the care he is used to when you are in prison, is an­other vic­tim of your of­fend­ing.”

JAILED: Brenda Roda

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