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22 July 2010, 11:51 | Updated: 22 July 2010, 12:00
A Chatham woman's been jailed for 21 months for stealing thousands of pounds from elderly people she worked for over a ten-month period in 2009.
Michelle Phillips, 43, from Brisbane Road pleaded guilty to five charges of fraud when she appeared at Maidstone Crown Court.
She was arrested on 11th November 2009 following an investigation.
Her first victim was a 79-year-old neighbour who Ms Phillips worked for as a carer. She took control of his finances and over a period of time the man’s bank account had approximately £15,000 taken from it. In relation to this case she was charged with fraud by abuse of position.
In four other cases Ms Phillips was working as a cleaner for elderly people at addresses in Rochester and Chatham. She stole the individual’s bankcards and pin details, to use the cards to withdraw cash. A 75-year-old man from Chatham had £100 stolen, an 85-year-old woman from Rochester had £686 stolen, an 81-year-old woman from Chatham had £1,880 stolen and an 86-year-old woman from Chatham had £4,000 stolen. For these offences Phillips was charged with fraud by false representation.
Detective Inspector Gary Smith said: ‘Phillips clearly abused her position of trust and preyed on old and vulnerable people to gain cash for herself. She has been rightly jailed for her actions, which has left elderly victims with little or no money. Her actions were selfish, calculated and have caused unrest to a number of people.
‘This was a difficult case for those involved, but I would like to thank all of the victims, their families and social services for the support they have shown during the course of the police investigation. Individuals who abuse the trust of others can make people’s lives very difficult, and this case proves that Kent Police takes these matters extremely seriously. Anyone stealing money in this way, will be investigated and as proved here, will end up with a jail sentence.’