Meir heroin user jailed for stealing £1,700 from 85-year-old dementia sufferer
HEROIN user Anthony Bentley has been jailed after he stole more than £1,700 from an 85-year-old dementia sufferer.
The 32-year-old abused the pensioner's trust after she gave him her cash card and pin number to withdraw money after he carried out odd jobs at her home.
Bentley originally declined to use the card but succumbed to temptation and used the card on 10 occasions.
The thefts came to light when the pensioner's daughter found out transactions had been made from a local cash-point. It was then discovered £1,730 had been deducted from the victim's account.
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Bentley was fully co-operative with police, North Staffordshire magistrates heard yesterday.
Prosecutor Sandra Whitehurst said: "The defendant said he knew the pensioner and did some odd jobs. She agreed to pay him £120 and asked him to withdraw money. She gave him her pin number. He initially refused to take the card. She asked him three times and eventually he took the money out.
"Over the next few weeks she asked him on numerous occasions. He did withdraw money. He was asked about the relevant times and dates and said there were 10 occasions in all."
Bentley, of Macdonald Crescent, Meir, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft, on October 15, November 7 and November 17. And he asked for seven similar offences to be taken into consideration.
The court heard the distressed victim no longer feels safe in her own home and plans to sell up.
Simon Davies, mitigating, said Bentley was ashamed. He is disgusted about the way he has behaved," said Mr Davies.
"He is a shoplifter and this is not something he would normally do.
"He accepts being dishonest in the past. But he has no convictions for theft from the person on his record."
Mr Davies said Bentley's last offence for dishonesty was in 2007 and he was last sentenced in 2008. He said the defendant was clean from drugs for a long time but started using heroin again.
Mr Davies said: "He thought about shoplifting. But he thought, 'I am not going to do that, I have put that behind me', and the odd jobs came in."
He added Bentley had no knowledge of his victim's medical condition.
Mr Davies said: "She appeared compos mentis to him, offering the card and pin. He refused and said he wanted to be paid by cash. Reluctantly, after three times of asking, he did agree. But initially he only withdrew what was agreed between him and the injured party. Initially he acted faithfully. He accepts, disgracefully, he withdrew the extra money."
Magistrates jailed Bentley for 42 weeks, telling him the offences passed the custody threshold because of the vulnerability of the victim, the breach of trust, the repeated targeting of the victim, the significant amount stolen and the effect the offences have had on the victim.