A care worker from Thornton Heath has been sentenced to six years imprisonment for cheating at least £300,000 out of elderly women in her care.
A jury convicted Maria Anderson, 49, of five counts of fraud, two counts of theft and two counts of removing criminal property at Blackfriars Crown Court on Thursday. She had pleaded not guilty to all offences.
Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: “This was a heart-breaking case where two elderly ladies, Victoria Francis and Maria Hylton, lost their whole lives’ savings.”
Her victims were aged 87 and 91 years old.
Ubhey said: “Maria Anderson preyed on these vulnerable women and abused her position of power as their carer. After gaining their trust and embedding herself into their lives she took control of their finances and their property.”
Anderson then went on to defraud Maria Hylton’s son, 62 year old Errol Satchwell.
Detective Inspector Shaun White, from Lambeth’s Public Protection Unit (PPU), said: “Anderson is a calculating individual who preyed on vulnerable elderly adults. Instead of helping those who needed it most, she defrauded unsuspecting elderly victims of their savings for her own benefit.”
He added: “Anderson was in a position of trust when she took advantage of vulnerable people. The victims and their families can now be assured that justice has indeed been done.”
As the national Hate Crime Champion within the Crown Prosecution Service, Ubhey indicated that she was committed to ensuring that CPS London continued to work with its police partners to stop crimes against older people and bring perpetrators to justice.
She said: “It is important to us that crimes against older people are reported and prosecuted and that older people have equal access to justice.”
“We hope that Anderson’s conviction will give other elderly victims greater confidence in the criminal justice system,” she added.
White also said: “I hope this sentence sends out a warning to others that we are determined to pursue anyone involved in this type of criminality and bring them before the courts.”