Care worker jailed for OAP swindle

A CARE worker who swindled nearly �7,500 from an elderly couple has been jailed for eight months.

Tom Potter

A CARE worker who swindled nearly �7,500 from an elderly couple has been jailed for eight months.

Amy Elkerton, from Lowestoft, broke down in tears upon hearing her sentence at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, after she admitted stealing a cheque book from the couple and making out payments in her own name.

The 25-year-old trainee nurse befriended the couple, who were in their late eighties and from Lowestoft, and continued to visit them at home for a year after leaving her position as their carer. During that time she signed off 13 cheques totalling �7,480.

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Elkerton was visited at her Raglan Street home by police when the deception was discovered by a friend of the couple and made a full admission of the scheme.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting, told the court how she had become very good friends with the couple during the two years they were in her care but continued to defraud them of up to �800 with each cheque she cashed.

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Andrew Shaw, defending Elkerton, said her guilty plea was “coupled with a genuine expression of regret and shame”. Mr Shaw said: “The best attempt to explain her behaviour would be a crisis in her personal life after the long term relationship with her partner broke down, but this is not offered as an excuse.

“She has been suspended from her course at the James Paget Hospital and will very likely lose her career.

“She was not motivated by intent to cause harm and stopped offending of her own accord before it was discovered.”

Mr Shaw told Judge John Holt that Elkerton was “genuinely petrified of going inside”. To which Judge Holt responded: “She should have thought of that when she started her dreadful behaviour.”

Elkerton, whose mother took out a bank loan in order to repay the stolen money, broke down in the dock as she was handed an eight month prison sentence by Judge Holt, who said: “You became friends with the couple and abused that friendship to steal a cheque book and steal money from them.

“It was a serious breach of trust, albeit not during you employment as their carer, and you are old enough to be responsible for your behaviour.”

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