Carer who stole from dementia sufferer branded ‘wicked’ by judge
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A Suffolk carer who stole £4,500 from a dementia sufferer has been given a suspended prison sentence by a judge who described what she did as “wicked”.
Elena Gaina took the woman’s bank card and PIN and used it to withdraw cash and to buy items from the Carphone Warehouse, Tesco’s and the Night Store, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Sentencing the 35-year-old mother-of-two, Judge Emma Peters described the offence as “wicked” but accepted Gaina had been in a “precarious” financial position at the time of the offence.
Judge Peters said Gaina had been employed to look after the vulnerable victim and had breached the high degree of trust that had been placed in her.
She said Gaina had committed the offence after her teenage daughter told her she found it hard to make friends because of the clothes she wore.
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Judge Peters accepted that girls of that age wanted to fit in but said that stealing from a vulnerable person such as the victim in this case was not the way to go about solving the problem.
She questioned why Gaina had spent £215 at Carphone Warehouse which she said didn’t seem like a purchase borne out of desperation.
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Gaina, of St John’s Road, Bungay, who has no previous convictions, admitted theft between April 23 and June 11 last year and was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 160 hours’ unpaid work.
She was also ordered to pay £2,000 compensation in the next two years.
Gaina, who represented herself in court and cried throughout the proceedings, said she had been sending money back to Romania to pay her sick husband’s medical bills.
She said she had used the victim’s card to buy food and clothes for her children.