A carer who was meant to be looking after an 86-year-old woman sobbed as she was led away to start a prison term after she took more than £1,000 from the pensioner.
Sharon Bastow (53) of Somerby Garth, Peterborough was meant to be caring for Daisy Bullock as she recovered from a heart attack.
But Bastow betrayed the trust given to her, using Daisy’s card to pay for items including cigarettes and dog chews.
In total she took £1,038.60 from the housebound pensioner.
On Monday she sobbed throughout a hearing at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court as she was jailed for eight months for fraud.
Daisy had spent three months in hospital after the heart attack in January 2018, with Bastow taking the money just five months later.
Daisy died in April – but her great niece, Candy Sanga, welcomed the sentence.
Candy discovered the fraud as she and her husband were finalising the payment for the care given to Daisy. She said: “When we saw what had happened, I felt physically sick. We could not believe it at first. We could not imagine someone could do something like this. She seemed so friendly when she came round.
“Sharon Bastow, took advantage of a vulnerable woman recovering from a heart attack. Her callous disregard for my great Aunt was evident in her complete and utter lack of remorse for her crime.
“Aunty Daisy didn’t want to go in a home. She wanted to keep her independence, which was so important to her.
“I am pleased she has been jailed. It is a bit overwhelming. I know it would have been a relief to Aunty Daisy too.”
While Bastow admitted one count of fraud, relating to £38.60, she denied a second count, relating to four withdrawals of £250 from a cash point. She was found guilty at a trial in June, with a police video interview with Daisy a key part of the evidence.
The court heard Bastow had a previous conviction for fraud, dating back to 2001.
Oliver Barrett, defending, said Bastow still denied taking the £1,000. He urged District Judge Ken Sheraton to impose a suspended sentence.
But Judge Sheraton said: “Because of the constant denials, I see no purpose in suspending the sentence.”
Bastow initially couldn’t believe the sentence, looking at supporters in the public gallery asking: ‘Am I going to prison?’– but when the jailers arrived in the dock to lead her away, she once again burst into uncontrollable tears.
Candy said Bastow had been employed by Sagecare - who had been appointed as Daisy’s carers after the family had contacted Peterborough City Council.
Contacted by the PT a spokesman for Sagecare, who employed Bastow said: “We at Sagecare take the safety and security of our vulnerable service users extremely seriously. We are therefore very pleased to hear that justice has been done in this case. Ms Bastow resigned from our employment in September 2018 and we had not in fact been made aware that she had been prosecuted, but in response to this week’s news, we are instigating a full review and will be working with Peterborough City Council and the Care Quality Commission to determine what lessons might be learned.”
A Peterborough City Council spokesman said:- “Peterborough City Council welcomes the conviction of the former employee of Sagecare and will want to work closely with this organisation and the Care Quality Commission to understand how working practices could be better scrutinised to deter incidents of a similar nature occurring in the future”
Bastow was ordered to pay compensation of £1,038.60.