'Unpleasant, mean, selfish and heartless' Hatfield woman jailed for stealing from elderly relative
PUBLISHED: 17:49 19 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:53 19 November 2019
A Hatfield woman has pleaded guilty to fraud and theft after she took advantage of an elderly relative that she was supposed to be caring for.
Rosemary Mills, 50, of Stockbreach Road, was sentenced to a year in prison at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday, November 14, for stealing £2,858.30 from her victim.
The victim gave Mills their bank card in March 2017 to buy toiletries and withdraw money on their behalf, the court heard.
Eight months later they asked for it to be returned because Mills' visits had become infrequent to the victim's care home - and when she did visit there was no money brought.
Mills then told the victim that they didn't need it and that she would continue to look after it. She subsequently returned the card in February 2018.
The elderly relative, while visiting a garden centre, went to a cash machine to check her bank balance - which was a lot less than it should have been.
As a result, bank statements were ordered which showed fraudulent online transactions, cash withdrawals, card payments and iTunes payments.
On March 13, 2018, members of the victims family phoned Mills to tell her of these transactions after they grew suspicious of her insisting on keeping the bank card.
Mills denied being responsible and, when the other family members suggested that the card could have been cloned, she agreed.
The following day, they called Mills again hoping that she would make admissions and told her they were going to the bank to report the fraudulent activity.
On returning from the bank later that afternoon, Mills phoned the other family members and admitted to spending the money.
She asked them not to call police and said she could pay the money back at £25 per week as that was all she could afford.
On March 27, 2018, Mills was arrested on suspicion of theft and taken to Stevenage Police Station.
Upon sentencing, Judge Warner described Mills as "unpleasant, mean, selfish and heartless".
In addition to the custodial sentence, a restraining order has been put in place preventing Mills from contacting the victim.
Detective Constable Sarah Hopkins, from Herts Constabulary's safeguarding adults from abuse unit, said: "I hope that Mills spends her time in prison reflecting on the severity of her actions and the pain it caused to the victim and wider family."