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16th Jan, 2022

Senior citizen turns detective to nail care worker who stole from her

Ross Crawford 18th Jan, 2019

A GREAT grandmother turned super sleuth to nail the care worker who’d been stealing from her.

And last Wednesday at a trial at Redditch Magistrates Court the bench believed her story and found carer Emma Hutt, of Winstone Close, guilty on two counts of theft.

Phyllis Bishop now hopes her actions will set an example for other senior citizens who fear they may be being cheated by people they trust.

The 78-year-old from Batchley had long suspected that money was being taken from her purse.

“It had been going on since April and mum was sick with worry and losing sleep over it,”

said Phyllis’s daughter Carol.

Together they hatched a plan; Last thing at night Carol put £120 in her mum’s purse, popped it in her handbag and then put the handbag in a particular way in the wardrobe, and closed the door.

Carol then went back to her own home.

“The following morning my carer came and she did everything she normally does for me,” said Phyllis.

“She got my breakfast and then went into the bedroom to make my bed and after that she came back and sat and talked for a while and then she went,” said Phyllis.

As soon as the door closed Phyllis was up and went straight into the bedroom.

“I knew as soon as I opened the wardrobe door that she had been in my purse. My handbag was open, my purse was on top and open and £40 was missing,” she said.

To make doubly sure they laid the trap again, and again £40 was taken from the purse.

The Police were told and took down a statement from Phyllis but the Crown Prosecution Service felt there was insufficient evidence to pursue the case.

“The Police Officer said ‘I would appeal against this because in my view we have enough evidence’, so I did, a new statement was taken and it went to court,” said Phyllis.

But after an appeal the case did go to court where Hutt entered a not guilty plea.

Carol added: “In court mum was brilliant giving her evidence – we were all so proud of her – her grandson said ‘they picked on the wrong granny’ and he was right.

“They had the carer behind a screen as mum didn’t want to see her again and wasn’t in court when they gave their verdict.

“Mum cried when the verdict came through, in fact we were all in tears.”

Hutt was ordered to pay £350 court costs, £160 in compensation to Phyllis – £80 for the stolen money and &80 for the distress she’d caused – and a £60 victim surcharge.

She was also ordered to wear an electronic tag for three months with a curfew between 7pm and 7am and told she would never be allowed to work in the care industry again.

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