A care worker who stole almost £15,000 from a frail pensioner she was meant to be looking after has been jailed for six months.
Lyn Newton systematically stole money from the 82-year-old man.
Her sentencing had been deferred from May after she told a judge she was pregnant and would be taking out a loan to pay the money back to the 82-year-old man she stole from on a regular basis when she worked at Sunnyhill Care Home in Selwyn Road.
A court heard this month she had made efforts to repay the money.
She appeared before Judge Michael Lawson at Lewes Crown Court on Friday and was sent to prison and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.
At an earlier court hearing, Amanda Kelly, prosecuting, said Newton’s victim was a physically and mentally frail man with a history of mental illness but she took his post office savings card and withdrew money on regular occasions between April 2012 and January 2013, taking up to £250 at a time.
The thefts were discovered when the man went to draw money out himself and found all of his savings had gone. A police investigation revealed the thefts happened when Newton was on duty and CCTV from ATM machines showed her withdrawing the cash. Newton initially claimed she had handed the money over to the pensioner but her colleagues told officers her lifestyle appeared to be very extravagant compared with her wages as a care worker and she was forced to admit she had been spending it on herself.
The court heard the pensioner was left upset and confused and couldn’t understand how anyone could have done that to him. Miss Kelly said, “Some of the activities the pensioner used to enjoy he simply hasn’t got the money to do now.”
Newton’s defence counsel said the defendant wanted to pay it back and said she “didn’t know what possessed her, wasn’t proud of herself and was most remorseful”.
Judge Michael Lawson QC told 36-year-old Newton, “I cannot think of anything more disgusting than these series of offences over a period of nine months. To steal from somebody you are meant to be caring for is as low as you can get. Quite frankly, it’s disgusting behaviour.”
Newton, who had been working at SportsDirect at Sovereign Harbour before she was jailed, admitted theft.