A heartless carer stole more than £7,600 from an elderly woman to help support her own family in Poland, a court heard.
Patrycja Gabsi made cash withdrawals using the pensioner’s bank card on 42 separate occasions – even continuing the fraud after her victim had died.
Gabsi, 34, of Chantry Close, Sudbury, was jailed for 12 months at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday.
She had pleaded guilty to by false representation, which Judge John Holt said represented a serious breach of trust.
In a statement read out to the court, the victim’s daughter said: “What sort of person takes advantage of a sweet, kind-hearted old lady?”
The court heard how an agency had supplied Gabsi to help care for Dorothy Duncan in her Bury St Edmunds home in August last year.
Prosecutor Andrew Thompson said that between December 19 and February 14 this year, Gabsi used a bank card issued to Mrs Duncan to repeatedly withdraw cash, plundering the account and pocketing £7,670 in the space of just eight weeks.
The offences even continued for nine days after the death of Mrs Duncan on February 5, the court heard.
Checks on CCTV recordings at cash machines confirmed that it was Gabsi who was responsible.
The offences came to light after Mrs Duncan’s death when her daughter noticed discrepancies in her mother’s finances.
After her arrest, Gabsi claimed to police that she had been authorised by Mrs Duncan to withdraw the money and said she had signed a written agreement, later admitting that was untrue.
Gabsi said she used the money to help support her two children, who at the time were still living with relatives in her native Poland, and to settle her husband’s debts.
The court heard that Gabsi, who worked for long periods at £7 an hour, also used some of the money to help pay her rent in the UK.
In mitigation, Alison McCulloch said: “She accepts that she has brought shame on her family, the very people she was trying to help.”
Miss McCulloch said Gabsi’s employers had stood by her and she had been moved to a telephone role helping to recruit new carers.
“The reason she took this money was not for a jamboree, it was not for a holiday,” she said. “It was not to make her life any better than the minimum could be.”
Gabsi’s fraud had amounted to a “serious breach of trust” placed in her by the elderly woman she had been employed to care for, said Judge Holt.