Carer stole £12k from pensioner

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A court has heard how a carer stole over £12,000 from a pensioner and gambled it away.

Susan Margaret Lorraine Crawford, of Woodlands, Culmore Road, pleaded guilty to 28 charges of theft committed between May 1, 2008 and January 1, 2009.

Derry Crown Court heard the 53-year-old was employed by the Western Trust to care for the woman, who is now 86-years-old.

She was given access to the woman’s bank account and over the course of five months withdrew £10,000.

The court was told Crawford cellotaped pages of the pensioner’s bank book together so she wouldn’t notice the money going missing.

The carer was also given access to a Post Office account, from which she stole over £2,000.

It was revealed to the court the victim trusted Crawford “like a daughter” and has since “lost all trust in people.”

Defence counsel Mark Reel said mental health problems caused the 53-year-old’s “out of character behaviour.”

He said his client began gambling three or four times a week and it was a way for her to “leave her troubles behind her.”

Adjourning sentencing until next week, Judge Piers Grant said he wished to “consider the issue.”

Crawford was remanded in custody and will appear in court again on Monday.