Cleaner who stole £4,000 from dementia sufferer is spared from jail

The angry son of an elderly dementia sufferer who had thousands of pounds of inheritance cash stolen by a heartless cleaner is furious that the thief has walked free from court.

Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 9:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 9:56 am
Shelley Taylor in court for stealing from a dementia patient
Shelley Taylor in court for stealing from a dementia patient

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how Shelley Taylor, 45, of Ashley Lane, Killamarsh, stole £4,000 from 87-year-old widow and grandmother Jeanne Garratt at her Eckington home to help pay for a horse for her two children.

However, Taylor has been spared from jail with a six-month custodial sentence suspended for 12 months.

Mrs Garratt’s son Peter Garratt, 59, said: “She should be locked up. I feel she has definitely escaped justice. She preyed on my mother giving her a kiss and a cuddle and making her a cup of tea while she was stealing her money. We’re absolutely devastated and livid.”

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Prosecuting solicitor Rod Chapman revealed, during the hearing last Thursday, that when Mrs Garratt’s sons Peter and Leslie suspected Taylor, a CCTV system was installed but Taylor also stole the two cameras to cover her tracks.

Mr Chapman said Taylor was employed to work as a cleaner for Mrs Garratt who is infirm and suffers with dementia and her family grew concerned because she was keeping cash in the house.

Mrs Garratt’s family checked the cash, according to Mr Chapman, and feared some had gone missing from a handbag in a wardrobe in his mother’s bedroom so cameras were installed.

But when Mrs Garratt’s sons Peter and Leslie returned the cameras had also been stolen, so Leslie, 68, alerted the police.

Mr Chapman added that money had also gone missing from a suitcase.

Taylor told police she had needed £2,000 to buy a horse and claimed she had intended to pay the money back. She confessed to stealing the cameras because she feared being caught.

Taylor pleaded guilty to two counts of theft after stealing £2,000 in December, 2015, and £2,000 in May, 2016, and admitted stealing the cameras in June 2016.

Defence solicitor Robert Sowter said Taylor has repaid £2,000 and her father will pay the outstanding £2,000 and £190 compensation for the cameras.

Peter Garratt told how the inheritance had been hard-earned by his grandfather who worked as a miner and former farmer’s wife Mrs Garratt has been left asking why Taylor stole money when she had been so nice to the defendant.

District Judge Andrew Davison sentenced Taylor to six months of custody suspended for 12 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 150 hours’ unpaid work.

He also ordered her to pay £3,190 compensation for the loss of the money, cameras and for the impact. Taylor must also pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.