A CARER who attempted to steal £8,000 from a man in his 90s has been jailed.
Michael Frampton, 26, was branded ‘reprehensible’ as he was sentenced at Dorchester Crown Court for offences of theft and fraud by false representation.
Carolyn Branford-Wood, prosecuting, told the court that the victim was 96 at the time of the offence and is now 97.
She said that the elderly man, who lived in Weymouth, had been receiving care in his home from a local company since March last year.
On July 10 he received a call from his bank asking if he had written a cheque for £8,000.
When he denied having written such a cheque the police were contacted and it was found a cheque was missing from a chequebook in a bureau in the victim’s hallway.
Frampton, of Cecil Street, Yeovil, was arrested at his home on February 10 and immediately admitted taking the cheque from the victim’s home when he was there in his role as a carer and attempting to pay it into his partner’s account two weeks later.
He insisted his partner knew nothing of the incident.
Miss Branford-Wood said the event had a lasting impact on the victim and caused him to feel unsafe in his own home, to the extent that he had now moved into residential care.
She added: “He placed his entire trust in the carers.”
David Freeland, mitigating, said that Frampton was a man of previous good character who had experienced a difficult time in the build up to the offence, with family bereavements and illness of family members.
He said his client had built up debts and had committed the offence on impulse but had immediately realised what he had done was wrong.
Mr Freeland said: “He’s extremely remorseful.
“He says he feels horrible that he made the victim feel the way that he does and he is deeply ashamed of those actions.”
Judge Roger Jarvis sentenced Frampton to a total of 12 months in prison for the two offences.
He said one of the concerning features of the case was that not only had Frampton stolen the chequebook in a moment of impulse, but some time later he had gone on to fraudulently write out the cheque.
• CHIEF officer at Age UK Dorchester Di Lawrence said she was ‘shocked and disgusted’ to hear of Frampton’s offending.
She added: “We see so much of this. Most people are honest but there is a handful of people who are not.
“It’s horrible because it just means older people tend not to trust anyone or they leave themselves wide open.”
Mrs Lawrence said she would urge anyone inviting carers into their home to make sure they have undergone all the necessary checks, but said even that sadly does not protect people completely.
She said: “Even then it is quite difficult because people who seem straightforward can turn out not to be.”