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Carers jailed for conning elderly woman

Carers jailed for conning elderly woman

Published at 1:48pm 16th February 2015. (Updated at 5:18pm 16th February 2015)

Two women have been jailed after defrauding a 92-year-old disabled woman from the Skipton area out of half a million pounds.

When her regular carer fell ill, the victim, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, employed Wendy Bell via an agency to provide her care.

Bell, 57, of Cullingworth, Bradford, then took a lead role in arranging 24-hour cover, bypassing the agency to pay the wages of the staff recruited directly by herself and Amanda Carroll, 44, of Shipley.

The group, made up of the family and friends of Bell and Carroll, went on to charge their victim grossly inflated amounts for her care over a two-year period, charging up to £40,000 a month.

They didn't have any qualifications or training for looking after someone with Parkinson's disease, none of them had any legal checks and none of them paid tax or National Insurance on their earnings.

Their criminal activity was eventually uncovered after the community matron raised concerns when she discovered the amount of money the victim was paying for her care.

Bell and her daughter, Lisa Bell, 30, also of Cullingworth, Bradford, were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud.

Wendy Bell was also found guilty of fraud by false representation.

Amanda Carroll, along with Caron Gilbert, 33, Alice Barker, 57, and Linda Mynott, 60, all from Keighley, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud.

Carroll also pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation.

Wendy Bell was sentenced to three years and six months' imprisonment and Amanda Carroll was given three years and five months.

Lisa Bell was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment suspended for two years.

She was also given a 300-hour community order and a four-month electronic tag curfew overnight.

Alice Barker received a nine-month suspended sentence and an 80-hour community order.

Linda Mynott was given a seven-month suspended sentence and a four-month electronic tag curfew overnight.

Caron Gilbert was given a 30-day community order.

Detective Constable Shane Martin, of Skipton CID, said: "This was one of the worst cases of financial abuse I have ever seen. These so-called carers abused their position of trust and responsibility, provided a poor standard of care and plundered the unsuspecting victim's bank account, believing they would never be found out.

"Their victim was a frail and elderly lady who trusted the women to look after her in her in her own home, a situation which has to come with a high degree of trust. These women abused that trust with impunity."

He added that it should send "a very clear message" to those who seek to take advantage of the elderly and vulnerable.