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Published: 3 December 2009
Carer stole from frail OAP

Woman who looked after 89-year-old wrote cheques to herself

A CARER has been jailed after stealing nearly £10,000 from the frail woman she was supposed to be looking after.
Sheila Achiro, 43, was sentenced to 15 months in prison at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday after admitting writing out cheques to herself.
Her 89-year-old victim was unaware that £9,700 was being transferred into Achiro’s personal and business bank accounts.
But Achiro, of Aspern Grove, Belsize Park, was caught out after staff at Age Concern Camden grew suspicious and called in police.
Achiro worked for an agency used by Camden Council, although the pensioner had hired her in a private capacity.
The Town Hall said yesterday (Wednesday) it is aiming to learn lessons from the case to ensure elderly residents are fully protected.
Age Concern Camden are also scrutinising the details of the case to see if any of its members may also have been conned by Achiro.
Chief executive Gary Jones described the conviction as “a dreadful case”.
“One of our staff reported his concerns to Camden Council’s adult social care service about alleged theft from a service user by Ms Achiro,” he added.
“We understand Ms Achiro worked for a home care agency and also undertook private work, so we were worried that others were at risk, as well as concerned for the individual involved.
“We co-operated with the adult protection inquiry and the subsequent police investigation, before our employee gave evidence in court.
“It is an awful case – theft and a breach of trust – but we are pleased that the agencies worked well together to investigate, take action, and that she was caught and found guilty.”
A Town Hall spokesman said: “The council recognises the need to work as quickly as possible alongside other agencies in cases of alleged abuse.
“We will be looking at our processes in light of the verdict against Ms Achiro, to ensure we continue to respond quickly and adequately to safeguarding issues to protect all vulnerable adults in the borough, including those who employ carers on a private basis.”
Detective Constable Catherine Flint from Holborn CID said the theft was “a sustained course of action aimed at an extremely vulnerable victim, callously carried out in the firm belief that the victim would be unable to substantiate any allegation due to infirmity or illness, allied with the belief that the suspect was held in such high regard by the victim as to be beyond reproach.”

• In a separate case, Sarah Jones, from Wilkin Street, Kentish Town, has been found guilty of using her employer’s bankcard to withdraw cash for herself.
Jones, 44, who worked as a cleaner for a 65-year-old woman in Glenloch Road, Belsize Park. She and was convicted of theft at Blackfriars Crown Court.

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