Bristol care worker guilty of creaming off 81-year-old's pension for years
A CARE worker who siphoned off £10,000 from a vulnerable 81-year-old woman's pension is facing a possible jail sentence.
A jury at Bristol Crown Court found Hildegard Williams guilty of fraud following a week-long trial.
But Williams, 59, of Derrick Road, Kingswood, had her sentence deferred by Recorder Michael Allen QC who requested probation reports before making a final decision on how she should be punished.
The court had previously heard how Williams cashed Brenda Davidge's weekly pension cheque at Kingswood post office between January 2008 and September 2010 to pay credit card and store card debts – and fund trips to the beauty parlour.
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Recorder Allen thanked the jury for their verdict on Friday before warning Williams about a possible spell in jail. He said: "You know that you have been found guilty and it will fall to me to sentence you for this crime.
"I must make it absolutely clear that when you are sentenced you may be sent to prison."
Defending Williams, Robert Morgan-Jones admitted that the offence "clearly crossed the custody threshold".
During the trial the court had heard how Williams had creamed off the money to pay off debts as well as fund beauty treatment and utility bills between April 2009 and May 2010.
Concerns were raised within Bristol City Council when officers noticed considerable arrears from Mrs Davidge for both bills, running into thousands of pounds.
Council worker Doreen Parker met Mrs Davidge and Williams to ask what was happening. Following a meeting where Williams was also present, the council assessor decided to make an order that £100 a week would be paid off to the arrears after hearing how Mrs Davidge was happy that her "friend" Williams was paying the bills for her.
But the court heard Mrs Davidge's arrears continued to rise, to £10,000, triggering a further meeting where social services were called in to deal with the matter.
An investigation was eventually mounted to "follow the money" and Williams was found to have deposited cash amounts into her own bank account, many of which were made on pension day.
In court Williams admitted that she accompanied 81-year-old Brenda Davidge to Kingswood post office to cash her giro cheque on some 18 occasions but she adamantly denied she consistently took cash for herself.
She was found guilty through a unanimous verdict. She will return to court on March 8 to be sentenced.