Accused carer Hildegard Williams tells Bristol court 'I don't know where pensioner's money went'
A CARER charged with taking £10,000 from an elderly woman's pension payments told a jury: "I don't know where the money's gone."
Hildegard Williams admitted that she accompanied 81-year-old Brenda Davidge to Kingswood post office to cash her giro cheque on some 18 occasions.
She adamantly denied she consistently creamed off cash for herself.
Williams, 59, of Derrick Road, Bristol, denies fraud between January 2008 and September 2010.
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A jury has heard that, up until January 2007, Mrs Davidge paid her bills without difficulty.
Concerns were raised when, by December 2008, she amounted considerable debts regarding her community meals service and home care.
It is claimed home care assistant Williams fleeced the vulnerable OAP in order to pay off her own credit card and store card debts.
Williams told Bristol Crown Court that up until December 2008 she was Mrs Davidge's formal carer, but from then just cared for her informally as a friend.
She said she would accompany Mrs Davidge to a newsagent pay point, where the pensioner paid bills, and helped the OAP to cash her giro cheque at the post office 18 times.
Williams told the jury: "Between 2008 and 2010 Brenda was responsible for her finances. I would help her, that was it. My responsibility was just as a friend and a carer. I would always give the cash to Brenda, always."
Williams said she would have filled in a "financial transactions book" when she cared for Mrs Davidge under a Bristol City Council carer's contract. But she told the jury that stopped when she was no longer contracted to care for Mrs Davidge.
The prosecution has compiled a detailed list of cash deposits Williams made into her Santander bank account over the period of the alleged fraud, which coincided with the Mondays when Mrs Davidge's pension cheque was cashed.
Williams said Monday was her banking day, and told the jury that on that day she would regularly deposit sums of cash given to her either from her husband, mother-in-law or neighbour – who gave her cash towards a mail order shopping club.
Williams said she attended meetings council representatives had with Mrs Davidge to discuss the OAP's arrears for meals and care in March 2009 and February 2010.
She said how Mrs Davidge was told she faced prison if she didn't pay up, and became upset.
Williams told the jury: "Brenda's financial affairs was not my business. I really like Brenda. I just feel sorry things had gone so wrong."
Prosecutor David Scutt, cross-examining Williams, told her: "You are clearly a manipulative liar.
"You abused the trust of that lady, year after year. She was a cash cow."
Williams denied his claims, replying: "I haven't got the money. I don't know how the bills were not paid. I am not lying."
The case continues.