Christine Barber, 57, has been jailed after fleecing an elderly woman out of £222,742
A callous carer who drained a 93-year-old woman’s bank account has been jailed for two years.
Christine Barber, 57, fleeced frail Patricia Normanton’s £222,742 savings and splurged the money on her daughter’s tuition fees, a new car and donations to a cat charity.
From October 2017 to April 2018, Barber repeatedly withdrew large sums from her victim’s account after sneakily setting up mobile banking.
When police eventually caught wind of her stealing and turned up at her Kirkby, Merseyside, home, Barber opened the door to them and said: ‘It’s to do with that bloody woman, isn’t it?’
On Friday, Liverpool Crown Court heard the defendant had ‘bled her victim almost dry’ before Barber was sentenced to two years behind bars after pleading guilty to theft.
Barber had known Ms Normanton since she was child, and, coincidentally, began caring for the nonagenarian at her Bootle home.
Even after she left her job with Warren Care, Barber, from Shakespeare Avenue, continued to make visits and obtained the pensioner’s bank details.
When Ms Normanton moved into a care home and came to pay her residency fees, it became apparent she was lacking the funds.
This is because Barber had enjoyed a six-month spending spree where she paid her daughter’s tuition fees, bought a £9,000 Renault Clio and gave £4,000 to a cat charity.
On Friday, Liverpool Crown Court (file photo) heard the defendant had ‘bled her victim almost dry’ before Barber was sentenced to two years behind bars after pleading guilty to theft
The mother-of-two hid the true source of the money from her son and daughter, texting them that ‘a wealthy old lady had given her the money as she did not want her grand-daughter to have it. She had two houses and wanted to give it to charity.’
Jailing Barber, who showed no emotion, Judge David Aubrey QC said that the victim, who has since died, had been ‘in the autumn of her life’ and was elderly and vulnerable.
He said: ‘Over a sustained period of time, between 5th October 2017 and 18 April 2018 you fleeced her… you bled her accounts almost dry.’
He said that references about Barber, who has no previous convictions, spoke of her as caring, supportive and friendly.
‘You may be friendly, you may be supportive, but as far as your victim, 93 years of age, was concerned you were anything but caring.’
The judge said she had taken advantage of a very vulnerable elderly lady ‘for your own financial ends.’
Prosecutor Simon Duncan said that the victim had been reimbursed by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Julian Linskill, defending, said that it was difficult to understand why Barber ‘had gone so far off the rails.’
She had not been working as a carer at the time of the offences but it was accepted she had ‘drained three major accounts belonging to Patricia Normanton.
‘She left very little by way of money in the accounts to the extent that those in charge of her care were concerned she would not long have the money in order to pay for her care in the home.
She was left almost destitute as a result of her depredations.’
Mr Linskill said, ‘She could not remember all the withdrawals. She certainly doesn’t seem to have splashed money on herself and quite a considerable amount has been spent on her family.’
He told the court that Barber has a degree in psychology and cares for her partner, who has suffered a stroke, and also looks after her son who has physical problems.
She has referred herself to mental heath services and is being treated for depression.
As Barber was led to the cells her crying daughter, who sat with her brother, shouted out to her, ‘I love you.’