A CARER, who stole from an 87-year-old woman who lived alone, has been sentenced after a judge branded the act ‘a mean offence’.
Zoe Allsebrook, 22, from Park Avenue, Fornham St Martin, pleaded guilty to stealing £210 from the elderly victim who lived in Bury St Edmunds.
Allsebrook was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday after the court heard how she had snatched money from the woman’s handbag.
Allsebrook was ordered to complete 160 hours of unpaid community work within the next year.
She must also pay £210 in compensation to the victim, with £120 of the amount having been seized by police when Allsebrook was arrested. The remaining £90 is payable by January.
Prosecuting, Michael Crimp said Allsebrook had stolen while on duty as a relief carer on three occasions between May 30 and June 1.
She first took £145, then £45 and finally £20, said Mr Crimp.
Allsebrook was arrested after a relative of the victim became suspicious and contacted police.
When first contacted by police, Allsebrook denied any knowledge of the stolen money.
But at an appearance in court last week she admitted that she had taken it.
In mitigation, Joanne Eley said it was Allsebrook’s first offence and she had lost her job as a result of the case.
Miss Eley also claimed Allsebrook had not used the money frivolously, with it being spent on essential items such as petrol and food.
She also cited Allsebrook’s irregular income as a mitigating factor, as her hours varied from week to week.
“It was very difficult financially as her income varied greatly,” Miss Eley told the court.
Sentencing, Judge John Devaux said: “This was definitely a breach of trust.
“They were mean offences. She lived alone. She relied on you.”