Published: 09:09, 11 September 2021
| Updated: 09:12, 11 September 2021
A devious carer who preyed on a vulnerable couple has walked from a court – after avoiding an immediate jail sentence.
Greedy Gemma Day pilfered cash from the bank accounts of Sittingbourne residents Ann and Dennis Baldock.
Over a four-month period last year, the 30 year old and an accomplice raided the funds of the dementia sufferers – pocketing £12,170 between them.
Day, of Victoria Street, Sheerness, had faced a jail sentence of anything up to three years after admitting fraud by abuse of position.
But she was allowed to keep her freedom because she cares for three of her four children and could lose her home if jailed.
Instead, the judge suspended a 12-month jail term for two years and ordered her to do 200 hours of unpaid community work.
Recorder Clive Broe told her: "You were employed to care for an elderly couple but you used that opportunity to use their bank cards to make numerous withdrawals.
"This was shameful abuse...you were taking advantage of vulnerable people."
Prosecutor Ali Dewji told how Day had worked for a Sheerness company called Welcome Home.
She was employed to care for Mrs Baldock and bed-bound Dennis, who suffered from dementia and were vulnerable to confusion, he added.
Mrs Baldock's brother noticed some unusual activity in the couple's joint bank account where there was a regular withdrawal of £250 which she knew nothing about.
Mr Dewji said checks discovered £12,170 had been taken – and when police checked CCTV footage at the bank they spotted Day taking the money.
When questioned, she revealed she visited the couple even when she wasn't scheduled to work, just to steal more money.
David Patience, defending, said Day admitted taking £6,000 and the rest she claimed was pilfered by another employee, who has not been charged.
He said: "She is full of deep regret and remorse for her actions. She takes full responsibility for her part and understands the devastating effects it has had on the couple.
"To say her coming in front of a court today has devastated her life is something of a gross understatement," he added.
The barrister said her 12-year relationship with her children's father came to an end two years ago and she went off the rails.
"This was shameful abuse...you were taking advantage of vulnerable people." – Recorder Clive Broe
"She began socialising with people who were younger and began to drink and take drugs and was not in a good way. She has now stopped."
Mr Patience added that she began taking small amounts but "it just snowballed" and now she will no longer be able to work in care – "a job she loved".
The judge ordered a financial investigation under the Proceeds Of Crime Act to see if any of the money can be recouped.