Carers who scammed a 91-year-old Parkinson's sufferer

Various topics from various news sources regarding elder abuse.

Carers who scammed a 91-year-old Parkinson's sufferer

Postby Admin » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:55 pm

- Wendy Bell, 57, and Amanda Carroll, 44, inflated cost of 91-year-old's care
- Audrey Hammond, now 92, was the victim of a 'cruel and heartless' fraud
- Pair have been jailed for a total of almost seven years for the conspiracy
- Enlisted four others and charged Mrs Hammond £35,000 every four weeks
- Bell's daughter Lisa, who runs a porn website, given suspended sentence
- They all scammed elderly Parkinson's sufferer out of more than £500,000

Two carers who scammed a 91-year-old Parkinson's sufferer out of more than £500,000 with the help of a porn star have been jailed for almost seven years in total.

Wendy Bell, 57, and Amanda Carroll, 44, 'grossly' inflated the cost of Audrey Hammond's care in a 'cruel and heartless' fraud to 'filch' the wealthy widow of her savings.

They were sentenced with four others at Bradford Crown Court including Bell's daughter Lisa, 30, who supplemented her income as a carer by running a private porn website.

Lisa Bell, Linda Mynott, 60, and Alice Barker, 59, all received suspended jail sentences and a sixth carer, Caron Gilbert, 33, was handed a 12-month community order.

Judge Colin Burn told the hearing that Wendy Bell and Carroll played a leading role in the fraud which saw Mrs Hammond pay £35,000 every four weeks for her care.

They charged up to £121 an hour for round-the-clock care, roping in friends and family to help and taking over Mrs Hammond's Grade II-listed home in Cracoe, near Skipton, North Yorkshire.

Computers were bought for staff, carpets were damaged, expensive cars parked outside and the pair even ran a burger van business from the property, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Wendy and Lisa Bell were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud at the trial. Wendy Bell was also convicted of a charge of fraud and was jailed for three years and six months.

Carroll from Shipley, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud and one charge of conspiracy to defraud before the trial and she was jailed for three years and five months.

Judge Burn He said: 'Wendy Bell and Amanda Carroll must take the central responsibility for a scheme which exposed Mrs Hammond, wealthy though she was, to massive financial loss resulting from blatant dishonesty.'

None of the people employed by Bell and Carroll had any qualifications to care for a patient with Parkinson's disease.

They were not appropriately registered and had not undergone checks with the Criminal Records Bureau.

Mrs Hammond's late husband amassed a 'considerable fortune' in his coal merchant business and left her land and fishing rights in the Yorkshire Dales.

But the carers siphoned off hundreds of thousands by overcharging, putting in fake petty cash claims and claiming for 'ghost' workers.

As the widow's health declined, she appointed a solicitor to act as power of attorney and authorised him to write cheques on her behalf, as she was physically incapable of doing so.

Giles Bridge, prosecuting, said the defendants 'created the opportunity for some carers to filch money from Mrs Hammond and line their own pockets'.

Between February 2010 and September 2012, Wendy Bell and Carroll requested payment from the solicitor for work which had not been undertaken.

They also made requests for inflated petty cash payments.

By the time police became involved in September 2012, Mrs Hammond was paying £35,000 every four weeks for her care. This was reduced to £20,000 when a professional care company took over.

Judge Burn told the court that during the two-year eight-month period, Carroll was overpaid by around £220,000, Wendy Bell by around £139,000, Lisa Bell by around £50,000, Mynott by around £39,000, Barker by around £52,000 and Gilbert by around £16,000.

Opening the case last month, Stephen Wood, prosecuting, said: 'There is no doubt that Mrs Hammond was subjected to a cruel and heartless fraud by the greedy. People she trusted to look after her betrayed that trust.'

Lisa Bell, from Cullingworth, West Yorks, was handed a 15-month jail sentence suspended for two years.

She was also given a four-month curfew order and told to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

Her porn website charges visitors more than £20 a month to view racy photos and videos of her either naked or in lingerie.

Mynott, Gilbert, and Barker all from Keighley, West Yorks, all admitted conspiracy to defraud before the trial.

Mynott was handed a seven month jail sentence suspended for two years and was made subject to a four-month curfew order.

Barker was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years and told to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.

Detective Constable Shane Martin, of North Yorkshire Police, said: 'This was one of the worst cases of financial abuse I have ever seen.

'These so-called carers abused their position of trust and responsibility, provided a poor standard of care and plundered the unsuspecting victim's bank account, believing they would never be found out.

'Their victim was a frail and elderly lady who trusted the women to look after her in her own home, a situation which has to come with a high degree of trust. These women abused that trust with impunity.

'Today's outcome should send a very clear message to those who seek to take advantage of the elderly and vulnerable. Justice will be done and you will be made to face the consequences of your actions.'

Thanks to Daily Mail - full story and pictures here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ed-up.html
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