Carer jailed for stealing from dementia patient

A carer has been jailed after stealing more than £5,000 from an elderly woman suffering from dementia.

Sarah Kakigotho, also known as Kigotho, was handed a jail sentence of 18 months at Cambridge Crown Court today after having previously admitted three counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of theft.

The court heard the 37-year-old had arrived in the UK ten years ago on a visitors’ visa she has long since overstayed.

Sara Walker, prosecuting, said the victim was Mary Hoy, who will turn 85 this April, and lives in Newmarket Road, Melbourn.

Ms Walker said: “This lady suffers from dementia and suffers mobility difficulties and requires live in care.

“The defendant went to live with Mrs Hoy who was employed through a care home agency based near Saffron Walden.”

In court the agency was named as Care At Home. Judge Anthony Bate said the public “might be understandably concerned” Kakigotho was able to “bypass checks” to get the job.

Ms Walker said Mrs Hoy’s son James noticed her weekly expenditure had risen and suspected his mother’s card had been cloned.

Ms Walker said: “He told his mother of his suspicions. The defendant was in the room at the time. He noticed the defendant became very agitated when he talked about the fact physical evidence would be available.”

Kakigotho told the family she was going to Addenbrooke’s to have her leg attended to and they didn’t see her again.

Ms Walker said there were 28 occasions whereby money had been stolen from Mrs Hoy from mid-May to July last year, including ATM withdrawals, seven cheques and catalogue transactions.

A further 13 offences including four of making false representation and nine of theft, on top of the charges, were taken into consideration when sentencing took place. In total the offences related to £5,016, Ms Walker said.

But she added the victim’s son, identified this figure as £5,796. She said for the purposes of sentencing these figures fell under the same category.

The court heard Kakigotho was “under pressure to return money to her mother”. Edmund Blackman, mitigating, said she comes from “humble origins” in Kenya where she grew up in a small, wooden house with no plumbing or water.

He said she obtained the job as a carer by using someone else’s passport. Mr Blackman said: “She suffers from schizophrenia. She was an inpatient at a psychiatric unit at the time of her arrest.”

He said proceedings to deport her are already underway, and she will “end up destitute and seriously ill on the streets of Nairobi”.

Kakigotho was already serving a prison sentence after previously being sentenced to 12 months in jail at Blackfriars Crown Court in November last year after pleading guilty to possessing false identification documents.

Judge Bate said: “You have used to find work no fewer than eight names including the name you under which you appear in this court.”

He added: “This was a sustained raid on an elderly lady’s account.

“I have no doubt this offending was underpinned by greed.” The 18-month prison sentence will run concurrently to the Blackfriars matter.

John Towers, HR director at Care at Home, said after the hearing: “As a company we deeply regret that despite carrying out the usual pre-employment checks on this lady, including verification of identity and address and a CRB and ISA search, she was able to slip through the net by using what ultimately transpired was a forged passport.

“Once the lady’s crimes came to light, we acted decisively to help secure her arrest and have offered the client compensation for any financial loss suffered.

“It is worth mentioning that we are still looking after this client, in fact, having maintained a good relationship with the family and indeed worked together with them to help bring this lady to justice.”