A former carer who befriended a vulnerable man then stole more than £46,000 of his savings has today been jailed.
Alana Squire, 37, of Brough with St Giles, was sentenced for fraud by abuse of position after pleading guilty to the offence.
She worked for a care company which looked after the man, who is in his 60s, at his home in Richmondshire.
In a fraud that spanned three years, Squire visited the man on evenings when she was not working for the company.
After building his trust, she would collect his bank card and withdraw money from cash machines before returning the card to him.
The victim, who North Yorkshire Police is not naming to protect his identity, initially wanted to lend Squire the money as he felt sorry for her.
But he started to get concerned about how much was being taken from his account.
He saw the money he had built up in savings leaving his account but noticed it was not being repaid.
But he worried that if he stopped letting Squire use his bank card, she would stop coming to see him which could leave him more isolated.
In December 2020, concerns were raised when Squire left the company that employed her to provide care to the man.
The victim believed she had taken around £14,000, and during police interviews she admitted to borrowing around £9,000.
However, following a detailed North Yorkshire Police investigation, specialist financial investigators examined financial records from both parties.
They discovered that the actual sum she had taken was significantly higher, at £46,751.
Squire was charged with fraud by abuse of position and pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court, where she was sent to prison for three years today.
Following today’s sentencing, PC Michael McVay, who led the case for North Yorkshire Police, said: “This was a sickening abuse of trust in which Squire simply helped herself to very significant sums of money.
“Even when she was confronted with the evidence, she seemed unremorseful and denied she’d done anything wrong.
“But a thorough investigation involving skilled financial specialists proved what she’d been doing, and we were able to bring Squire to justice.
“The manipulative way she committed this crime was awful. Offences like this can have a truly devastating impact on victims, whose so-called friend is actually there to exploit their vulnerability.
“I’d urge anyone who thinks they may have been the victim of this type of offence to contact us by calling North Yorkshire Police on 101.
“Support is available and we guarantee your concerns will be taken seriously.”