A CARER who stole £16,790 from a dementia patient and spent the money on designer clothes, holidays and theme park passes will only pay back a quarter of what she took.

Serial liar Jemma Laney, 31, of Rockford Gardens in Chapelford, was looking after pensioner Frank Green as an employee for home care provider Direct Health.

In a proceeds of crime hearing at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday, it was stated that only £4,716 is available to pay back.

£1,460 of this is cash seized by police while £3,256 worth of items including watches and handbags will be put up for auction.

The 78-year-old patient had dementia and was moved in and out of a care home due to his failing health.

As part of his care plan, carers would visit him at his address three times a day to help make with meals and give him medication.

In September 2017, a social worker encouraged Mr Green to open letters he had left to pile up for several months.

The letters showed use of internet banking and after visiting the bank, staff confirmed suspicious activity on the account since May 2017.

Large sums of money were being spent on Amazon orders, fuel, theme park passes and holidays and statements showed that large sums of cash were being withdrawn.

Bank statements revealed the account was paying off a Next Directory balance and while Next confirmed the account was in Frank Green's name, the address used to sign up matched Laney's.

Warrington Guardian: Chester Crown Court

She appeared at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday

A number of longstanding direct debits which the victim made every month to charities had also been cancelled by Laney.

Court proceedings were halted in August 2018 after Laney claimed the money was being used to pay drug debts. She agreed to help police but the force found no evidence to pursue anyone in connection with her claims.

Judge Simon Berkson, said: "Hardly any stolen money went to pay off drug debts, we know a drug dealer is not going to be pleased with a Michael Kors handbag or anything from the Next Directory."

Christopher Taylor, prosecuting, said: "This was a terrible abuse of trust. When Laney visited Frank for the last time on April 12, this was when the internet banking was set up.

"She took him back to his house for 40 minutes but reported in care notes that he was agitated and frustrated, shouting 'this is not my house' and threatened to throw himself out of the window."

Taylor told the court that this evidence was vital in proving Mr Green did not have the mental capacity to consent to his bank details being used.

Laney knew from her training that financial arrangements were not part of Mr Green's care package and that she could never access his bank details or accept gifts from a patient.

Police arrested Laney at her Chapelford home in September and during a search of the address found a piece of paper containing Mr Green's bank details and pin number.

Valuable items such as Michael Kors handbags, a Tag Heuer watch, a Louis Vuitton scarf, Stella McCartney handbags, an Emporio Armani watch and £1,460 cash were also found.

The court was told Laney spent most of the money at Cheshire Oaks and Next and on theme park passes for Chester Zoo, Gulliver's World and Alton Towers.

Warrington Guardian:

She spent some of the money on tickets to Chester Zoo

When interviewed by police, Laney said she would take Mr Green to the shops and to the cash machine as part of his care and that he was 'compos mentis'.

However, when she took him home on April 12 she told police he thrust a bank card in her hand and said 'they are going to take it all off me, spend it all'.

Mr Taylor added: "Laney said she took this as authority and that Green told her to spend all of his money. When told by investigators she had spent around £16,500, she replied 's***'."

The court heard how Laney had previously appeared before Warrington Magistrates' Court in April 2016 for benefit fraud and during proceedings, falsely claimed she had cancer.

Laney provided a fraudulent letter from Clatterbridge Cancer Centre stating she was undergoing treatment to adjourn hearings and when proved wrong, she falsely claimed she was receiving treatment at another hospital in addition to surgery.

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Philip Tully, defending, said: "She accepts she spent the money on herself and her son but says she received some of the valuable items as presents from her grandparents.

"Laney has shown genuine remorse and is the sole carer for her son and her grandparents. She has had a troubled past and a difficult family life."

The mum-of-one was handed a 12-month sentence in November.