Carer Thief Must Pay Over House Sale Cash

A carer who stole more than £50,000 from a 92-year-old woman – and blew it on her gambling addiction – was yesterday ordered to pay some of the money back. Wendy Jones was told to hand over £8,000 she made from the sale of her house.

Jones was jailed for two years last year, but a police investigation into her financial affairs was ordered under The Proceeds of Crime Act. Yesterday she was back at Mold Crown Court for a financial hearing. Judge David Hale ruled that she had benefited from her criminal conduct to the tune of £51,825.

He was told that the only asset she had was her then home in Elwy Drive in Rhyl, which had since been sold. The equity in the house was £7,929 and the judge ordered that should be used as compensation.

Jones, now living in a flat inRhyl , had agreed that they money – now held by North Wales Police – should be released, her barrister Andrew Jebb explained. In March last year, Jones was jailed for two years after the court heard she spent vast amounts gambling on the horses to try to get out of a financial mess.

An investigation later showed that she made a net loss of more than £30,000 at the bookies, spending £132,000 on massive betting sprees over a three month period and winning £100,000 back. Some of the stolen money had also been used on mortgage payments and to make improvements to her home.

Jones had worked as a care assistant at the Graham Care Home in Princes Avenue in Prestatyn, a small business with few residents. She was given considerable responsibility in looking after a small number of residents and also dealing with admin work.

The victim, then 91, had sold a bungalow she jointly owned in Prestatyn with another lady and moved into the home. The proceeds of sale were placed in a bank account in joint names – and part of the payment to the home came from that account.

The resident was in the habit of signing blank cheques for payment and the defendant took four of them in early 2005, filling in her own name and paying the money into her own account. Cheques for various amounts, from £7,000 to £14,000, were paid in.