Carer stole £7,500 from pensioner to buy lingerie, make-up and cigarettes

A carer stole more than £7,500 from a vulnerable pensioner – after being warned to be "extra vigilant" because he had already been a victim of "financial abuse".

The victim lived an "extremely frugal" lifestyle – limiting spending to "bread, milk and jam and a penchant for the National Lottery".

But Harriet Rowe, 24, used his money "to fulfill her own shopping needs and wants", Hull Crown Court heard.

This included:

  • Withdrawing up to £500 a day from an ATM – his maximum allowance
  • Buying "hundreds" of cigarettes when he did not smoke
  • Buying petrol when he did not drive
  • Spending £662.93 on computer equipment from Currys
  • Spending £563.86 on "home improvements" at B&Q
  • Buying lingerie, make-up, and a £185 bracelet from a jewellers

The victim died on February 6 last year from health problems unconnected to the case, Hull Live reports .

Phillip Evans, prosecuting, said the man, who was in his early 80s, was her first client while working for the company Caremark.

Mr Evans said the pensioner's care plan "highlighted a particular vulnerability" because "he'd been the victim of financial abuse in the past, before the defendant met him, and carers were warned to be extra vigilant and to raise any inquiries they might have of any suspicions in the financial arena".

The care plan also described other vulnerabilities, saying he was "suffering from anxiety and depression and had done for many years; that he may need reassuring, had heart problems and high blood pressure ".   

Mr Evans said: "Against that background the defendant's duty was to safeguard this vulnerable man, among other things, against financial abuse."

But Rowe took the man's bank card, against her employer's rules, and "used it for her own purposes".

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