Updated: Saturday, 4th April 2020 @ 10:16am

Wigan carer who stole £5k from disabled elderly couple jailed for ‘heinous’ actions

Wigan carer who stole £5k from disabled elderly couple jailed for ‘heinous’ actions

| By Jack Howson

A Wigan carer who stole more than £5000 from an elderly couple suffering from mental and physical health difficulties has today been jailed for a year.

Rebecca Calder, 24, of Bolton Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, stole the cash after her employment as a carer had ended and she was continuing to visit the couple informally under the pretence of friendship.

Tragically, since Calder’s series of thefts last spring and her guilty plea in November, the elderly couple have since passed away; leaving them unable to have the satisfaction of seeing the manipulative woman they considered a friend sentenced.

Calder, who was employed by the now-defunct Makerfield Care worked as a carer, but was not part of the team working at the couple’s home, with the thief only visiting the pair at their house after her employment ceased.

Her criminality only came to light when the couple’s daughters noticed on their parents’ bank statements that large amounts of cash were being withdrawn from ATMs almost every other day.

One withdrawal in particular, taken from an ATM in Calder’s home town at around 2am on April 13, 2014, flagged up to the daughters with certainty that the transactions weren’t being made by their parents.

Huge amounts had also been withdrawn from their father’s savings account.

The women covertly installed a CCTV camera at the house, which caught Calder red-handed stealing cash from the elderly man’s wallet.

Continuing their own private investigation, the daughters identified Calder from her Facebook profile, showing her wearing the same clothes as when she stole the cash.

Footage taken from CCTV cameras at the Ashton branch of Barclays of the thief’s withdrawal on April 13 confirmed Calder was responsible.

Just three hours after stealing the money, she posted a picture of herself on Facebook wearing the same clothes and appearing to show her enjoying a night out.

The police were then called. On November 4 she pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft and today, Wednesday April 15, she was sentenced to 12 months in prison for each count, to run concurrently.

Police Constable Ryan Mackenzie said: "It is a heinous and appalling crime, made all the more galling by the audacity to post something on Facebook of her enjoying a night out using cash stolen just hours earlier from an unsuspecting and trusting couple.

“The fact that when the money was stolen she was not even employed as a carer but pretended to be a caring friend just compounds her despicable actions.

"And one of the saddest parts of this case is that both the man and his wife passed away before they could see justice being done.

"I hope this case serves as a stark warning to anyone who is put in a position of trust, like Calder was, to look after elderly and vulnerable people. Temptation will clearly be there but do you really want to be known as someone who stole from elderly people?

“Not only will you have that stigma for the rest of your life, but you could also be facing a long prison sentence."