A Newbury woman who gained the trust of an elderly man before spending more than £7,000 of his money has been spared jail.
Kim Workman, aged 57, legally gained lasting Power of Attorney over Ivor Royston's bank accounts before misappropriating £7,555,58 of his money for her own benefit.
But she was caught when she unsuccessfully tried to transfer another £127,000 of Mr Royston's money.
Mr Royston met Workman, of Westlands Road, who offered cleaning services to him for many years where they became close friends and she would help him with shopping, posting letters and other household duties.
In March 2011 Workman legitimately obtained Lasting Power of Attorney over Mr Royston's bank accounts when he suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care in July 2012.
The defendant supported Mr Royston by drawing funds from his accounts to pay for care, renovation to his property and other expenses but £7,555.58 had not been accounted for and was mixed with her own funds and used for her own benefit.
Mr Royston, of Rectory Close, Newbury, died in October 2013 aged 88.
Workman pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position at Reading Crown Court in April 2015.
She was sentenced on May 22 to 42 weeks’ custody (suspended for 18 months). She was also required to perform 200 hours of unpaid work.
Investigating officer Det Con Russell Prentice said: “This conviction was the best possible outcome for a defendant who abused her position of trust over an elderly vulnerable man to benefit herself. Fraud is never a victimless crime and Thames Valley Police will always seek to protect vulnerable members of society, regardless of the type of crime.”
Head of Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit, Det Insp Gavin Tyrrell, said: “Protecting the vulnerable is always a priority for Thames Valley Police and this conviction against someone who shamelessly exploited a very vulnerable man who was close to the end of his life demonstrates our commitment to that.
"The Economic Crime Unit took swift action to prevent further losses to the victim and bring the offender to justice.”