Woman carried out ‘unpleasant and distressing fraud’ on her ill grandmother

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A single mother practised an “unpleasant and distressing” fraud on her dementia-suffering grandmother, a court heard.

Lisa Pickles, 35, breached the trust placed in her and defrauded her 74-year-old relative out of £1,600 to pay for household items.

Magistrates heard Pickles was helping to care for her grandmother who was then living independently.

The victim was vulnerable and had dementia. Pickles and other family members would help her with shopping. Pickles also had access to her bank card.

But prosecutor Amanda Harris said: “On the occasions outlined in the charges she used the card to make an advantage for herself.”

The court heard about various gains including a night in a hotel, a Sky payment and grocery shopping. The total sum was £1,600.

Pickles, of Vaughan Way, Kettlethorpe, admitted eight offences of fraud.

The court heard Pickles had never been in trouble before and was a personal licence holder. Emma Covington, mitigating, said her client was a single parent with a teenage son. She had been holding down a full-time job while caring for both of them.

But the court heard she had lost her employment.

Mrs Covington said: “Matters simply got on top of her. She deeply regrets it.”

Deputy District Judge Sandra Knapton said: “It’s a fraud of a particularly unpleasant and distressing nature – one that the victim would not know or understand – that actually makes it worse.”

The judge told Pickles: “These are a very serious matters, involving a breach of trust against your elderly grandmother. In those circumstances I consider my powers of punishment are not adequate.”

Pickles was committed for sentence at Leeds Crown Court on April 6.