POLICE seized thousands of pounds from criminals in Dorset last month including nearly £5,000 from a Weymouth care worker who stole from and defrauded two elderly men.

The cash will be used as compensation for the estates of the victims of Symon James West, of Teal Avenue, Chickerell, who abused his position to steal from the vulnerable pensioners.

Officers secured a Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 against West, 52, a former mental health support worker.

West, working for Dorset Healthcare Trust at the time, stole £4,649 from one service user who lives in Bridport and £88 after telling an elderly man he was selling goods for charity.

He would take him to the boot of his car where the man would pick out goods, with the belief the proceeds would go to an animal rescue charity.

But West pocketed £88 from the fraud, Dorchester Crown Court heard when West was convicted in July of last year.

He was sentenced to 18 weeks in jail for the fraud and 25 weeks for the theft, to be served concurrently

West was ordered to repay the £4,649 he borrowed from one victim and £80 to the other victim which he obtained by falsely claiming he was raising money for charity. He was told he has six months to repay his victims or will face three months in custody after which time he will still owe the debt.

Both of West's victims have passed away but the money from the order will be used to reimburse their estates, a Dorset Police spokesman said.

Dorset Police secured a Confiscation Order against 52-year-old Jane Pamela Martin, 52, and her 53-year-old partner Steven Collins, both of Blandford, after they stole more than £62,000 from her 56-year-old brother who suffers from learning difficulties.

They also stole more than £14,000 from Martin's 87-year-old mother who lived in a nursing home and suffered from dementia.

The woman was ordered to repay £34,479 and her partner £34,449 within six months. If they fail to pay they face up to 18 months’ imprisonment and will still owe the debt.

Martin's mother has since passed away, but the money from the orders will be used to compensate the brother and the mother’s estate.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Kennard, of Dorset Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “We will take every available opportunity to deprive criminals of their illegal gain to directly compensate victims of crime, ensuring offenders are held to account and victims are put first.

“We hope this sends out a clear message to offenders that they will be dealt with through the courts and forced to pay for their crimes.”