A former carer who repeatedly stole small sums of money as she ‘selfishly exploited’ a vulnerable Leamington woman has avoided jail.
Kirandeep Dhesi was ordered to pay back the £600 she had stolen after she escaped being jailed after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the theft.
Dhesi, 30, of Winterbourne Gardens, Nuneaton, was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.
As well as ordering her to pay compensation to her victim at the rate of £50 a month, Deputy Judge Richard Griffith-Jones also ordered her to pay £600 costs.
Prosecutor Philip Vollans said Dhesi began to work for Lotus Care in 2014, and in the summer of 2016 she became a carer for a 42-year-old Leamington woman.
Dhesi had to visit the woman, who suffered from various conditions including multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia, and had limited mobility, up to four times a day.
Her employment with Lotus Care ended after she claimed she was having to go into hospital, which was untrue.
But she continued to visit the woman’s home and began asking for sums of money which she said were ‘loans,’ but which she knew she was never going to pay back.
She also kept money from sums the woman had withdrawn for household purposes – and she entered her plea on the basis that she had stolen a total of £600, said Mr Vollans.
Judge Griffith-Jones remarked: “It was manipulative. She was taking advantage of a position of trust which had been established previously.”
Mr Vollans said that when Dhesi was arrested, she told the police she was having difficulty paying off loans of £2-3,000 at the time.
Aadhithya Anbahan, defending, said Dhesi had been working for the last four months as the manager of a fish and chip shop, but has been offered employment in the IT department of a retail chain.
Sentencing Dhesi, Judge Griffith-Jones told her: “The meanness and sustained manipulation, taking advantage of a previous position of trust seems to me to lean towards a sentence of imprisonment.
“By reason of the job you had, you came into contact with a person who, by reason of her physical disability, must have had a sense of being marooned – and into her life came someone who was apparently going to help her.
“Such a person would rapidly trust the person who was seeking to help her. After your employment was over, you maintained your relationship with her, which still had that trust.
“In the grossest breach of that trust, you selfishly exploited her position to alleviate your own debt, and you stole from her.
“Such a theft against a vulnerable person in breach of trust results in a starting point of 12 months imprisonment.”
But he added that he would give her credit for her guilty plea by reducing the sentence to eight months – which would be suspended.