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Maria McCalla stole £54000 from a dementia patient to pay for a gastric band
A carer who stole £54,000 from an 82-year-old dementia patient to pay for a gastric band and private school fees for her children has been jailed for two years.
Maria McCalla, 31, preyed on vulnerable pensioner Vera Haselden and convinced her to write cheques in sums of £10,000 and £6,000.
On top of that she withdrew cash sums totalling £13,400 and £24,760 from the elderly woman whose dream of independent living was destroyed by the defendant.
McCalla, of Flat E, 10 Carolyn Road, Wembley received two years and eight months imprisonment at Harrow Crown Court.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud regarding the cheques and two counts of theft between June 4 and August 10, 2014.
There will be no pursuit of Miss Haselden’s money under the Proceeds of Crime Act after the prosecution decided there was no prospect of recovering any assets.
‘I have heard about gastric band surgery, school fees, computer equipment, including an X-Box and brand-new clothes,’ said Recorder Andrew Hearn.
‘The consequences for Miss Haselden have been enormous because she lived in fear of entering a care home and the whole point of employing you was so she could stay at home.
‘She now has no capital and as a consequence has gone into a care home,’ he told the first-time offender.
‘She told the police she feels like she is in a prison, ending up where she did not want to be.’
The court heard McCalla, whose 17 credit cards are all in the red, only began working for Miss Haselden two months before she started defrauding her.
‘You became depressed, started gambling, and got yourself into money problems.
‘You say Miss Haselden offered to lend you money and you took sixteen thousand pounds in loans, knowing you couldn’t repay it.
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