Carer stole £7,670 from elderly Bury St Edmunds woman to help support family in Poland

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A carer stole more than £7,600 from an elderly woman in Bury St Edmunds to help support her own family in Poland, a court heard.

Patrycja Gabsi made cash withdrawals using the pensioner’s bank card on 42 occasions.

Gabsi, 34, of Chantry Close, Sudbury was jailed for 12 months at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.

She pleaded guilty to an offence of fraud by false representation which Judge John Holt said represented a serious breach of trust.

The court heard how Dorothy Duncan had been supplied through an agency with Gabsi to help support her in her Bury St Edmunds home in August last year.

Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, said that between December 19 last year and February 14 this year, Gabsi used a Lloyds Bank card issued to Mrs Duncan to repeatedly withdraw cash and in total obtained £7,670.

The offences even continued for nine days after the death of Mrs Duncan on February 5, said Mr Thompson.

Checks on CCTV recordings at cash machines confirmed that it was Gabsi who was responsible.

The offences came to light after Mrs Duncan’s death when her daughter noticed discrepancies in her mother’s finances, said Mr Thompson.

After her arrest Gabsi claimed to police that she had been authorised by Mrs Duncan to withdraw the money and said she had signed a written agreement, later admitting that was untrue.

Gabsi said she used the money to help support her two children, who at the time were still living with relatives in her native Poland, and to settle some of her husband’s debts.

The court heard that Gabsi, who worked for long periods at £7 an hour, also used some of the money she took to help pay her rent in the UK.

In a statement read to the court, Mrs Duncan’s daughter said: “What sort of person takes advantage of a sweet, kind hearted old lady?”

Alison McCulloch, in mitigation, said: “She accepts that she has brought shame on her family, the very people she was trying to help.”

Miss McCulloch said Gabsi’s employers had stood by her and she had been moved to a telephone role helping to recruit new carers.

“The reason she took this money was not for a jamboree, it was not for a holiday. It was not to make her life any better than the minimum could be.”

Gabsi’s fraud had amounted to a ‘serious breach of trust’ placed in her by the elderly woman she had been employed to care for, said Judge Holt.