A woman has been jailed for three years after stealing more than £126,000 from the woman she was meant to be caring for.
Tanya Benjamin, 60, of Ryecroft Street in Stapleford, started working for an 85-year-old woman in June 2012. They had a casual arrangement where she would work at the house around two to three times a week and would be paid around £300 each week.
In December that year, her elderly employer went into a care home for two weeks of respite care. During which, a long-standing family friend who assisted with her finances, noticed that four cheques had been removed from a cheque book and a cheque of £160 had been cashed.
He did not think anything of it until he was going through her bank statements in March 2017 and noticed that a cheque for £126,000 had been cashed. He contacted the bank who confirmed that both cheques had been written out to Tanya Benjamin.
Detective Constable Marc Lancaster said: “We had never heard anything like this case. The extent that Benjamin went to gain the elderly victim’s trust and the amount she stole was completely cold and callous.
“We accept that some people may face financial difficulty and may have their problems but it is no excuse to steal from a vulnerable person. I have to thank all of the officers who pieced this case together, the financial investigators to the police constables faced with the task of searching through Benjamin’s property and who managed to find the money.
“We hope that this sends the message out to anyone who might be committing this kind of offence, we will find out about it and you will face jail.”
The police were informed and were able to recover £54,280 from Benjamin’s bank account but £70,000 had already been withdrawn. Searches were conducted and they eventually found a box containing £63,000 in Benjamin’s home. It leaves £8,880 unaccounted for.
On 23 March 2017 Benjamin was charged with theft of the cheques and two counts of fraud by false representation. She pleaded not guilty throughout and the case went to trial on Wednesday 18 October 2017. She was found guilty on all counts by the jury on the following Monday.
She was sentenced today (Friday 15 December 2017) at Nottingham Crown Court to three years imprisonment.