Carer stole £7,000 from vulnerable Leeds man

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A carer who stole around £7,000 from a vulnerable elderly man he was entrusted to look after has been jailed.

John Roberts, 56, was given a 15 month sentence yesterday over the deception which saw him take advantage of a 70-year-old victim.

Leeds Crown Court heard Roberts committed the offences for almost a year before a relative of the victim realised what was happening.

Matthew Harding, prosecuting, said Roberts carried out the offences while working for a company called Real Life Options.

His duties included helping the man, described as having learning difficulties and being highly vulnerable, with his finances and general tasks.

The court heard Roberts began asking the victim for money to pay for repairs for his car. Roberts would take the victim to cash machines so he could withdraw money and then told him not to tell anyone about it. The court heard 29 cash withdrawals were made for amounts ranging from £50 to £500 between October 2012 and September 2013. Roberts, of Springfield Road, Guiseley, pleaded guilty two offences of fraud. Catherine Robinson, mitigating, said: “He fell prey to temptation at a time when his financial situation was very difficult but that in no way excuses what he has done.”

Jailing Roberts, judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “He is a man with learning difficulties and needed care. Imposed upon you was a high degree of trust to care for him and protect him.”

Roberts was also ordered to pay £7,000 under Proceeds of Crime Act. The money will be given to the victim as compensation. Det Insp Jaz Khan, of Leeds District POCA Team, said: “West Yorkshire Police will use the Proceeds of Crime Act whenever it is possible to identify assets that can be used to compensate victims of crime.”

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