Pensioner defrauded out of £7,000 by carer from Ruthin

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Denbighshire Free)

A carer who defrauded an elderly woman out of £7,000 claimed to police that the victim had told her to withdraw cash from her account and share it among the homeless.

But Rachel Donna Bowden, 32, admitted defrauding the old lady from Caergwrle between November 22 and December 22 of last year.

Appearing at Flintshire Magistrates Court Bowden, of Trem y Coed, Clawddnewydd, near Ruthin, was sent to the crown court for sentence.

Prosecutor Helen Hall said it was a breach of a high degree of trust and the victim was at the time particularly vulnerable and unwell. She died on December 4.

She said Bowden was one of a number of carers who in total made seven visits a day to the home of the 87-year-old, the late Irene Morgan. A total of £7,350 had been taken.

In December the victim’s son-in-law realised that a large sum of money had been taken from her account and the police were called in.

Mrs Morgan had a prolonged period in hospital and when she was discharged last November a package of care was provided by an agency.

Four double crews and three single staff members visited her daily and when it emerged that money was missing all staff were asked if they knew anything about the bank card and PIN.

All staff said that they had no knowledge of them.

Numerous inquiries were made.

The HSBC bank was able to provide details of the locations of the withdrawals and police then checked CCTV footage.

It was found 17 cash withdrawals had been made together with one attempt.

A car registered to Bowden was at a garage in St Asaph where one of the withdrawals were made and a female was seen to get out of the vehicle.

Flintshire CCTV was looked at and a female matching the same description was seen to make three further transactions.

Arrested in January, Bowden admitted taking money out of the account but claimed that she had done so under instruction from Mrs Morgan. She alleged Mrs Morgan did not want her family to have the money.

Bowden said she initially refused to carry out the instructions but then did so when the pensioner became upset.

She claimed Mrs Bowden had the capacity to make her own decisions, provided her with the card and PIN and told her to get the money out and to donate it to the homeless.

That, she said, was a couple of weeks before her death.

Initially she claimed that she would withdraw £500 and give the money to homeless people on the street.

Bowden said she had a letter for Mrs Morgan to sign but she had died on December 4 before that happened.

She initially denied putting money into her own account but then conceded that she had done so.

The CCTV images were put to her and she agreed that she had withdrawn money in November and December at various locations including Mold and Liverpool.

Some money had gone into her account, and some had been given to the homeless, she claimed.

She said that she could not recall what she had done with some of the money she had withdrawn.

Phillip Lloyd-Jones, defending, told the Mold court his client should receive credit for her guilty pleas on the first occasion but said he would not mitigate further when district judge Chris Johnson indicated that the case was “well outside my powers” and should be dealt with at the crown court.

See full story in the Free Press

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