A CARER who stole from a dementia-suffering 82-year-old has been told she faces the prospect of jail next month – but only after a psychiatric report is carried out to assess her ‘frame of mind’.
Caroline Bastable, of Wheatacre Road, Sheffield, was caught on CCTV stealing items from a woman in Barnsley including cash, jewellery and perfume.
The CCTV cameras had been installed by the victim’s son after he became suspicious.
In addition to this, she was also seen failing to give the elderly woman her medication.
The 42-year-old appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, but Judge Michael Slater opted to adjourn sentencing having ordered a psychiatric assessment to be carried out.
He said: “A point was raised in the pre-sentence report which I have more questions about, so it’s regrettable but only fair that a psychiatric report is carried out.
“This will assess the defendant’s general condition at the time of the offending in 2017 and currently. Her family members are concerned, which is only natural, but it could be a mitigating feature of this case.
“I am sorry we cannot proceed but these matters have largely been brought to my attention late. We must comply with various statutory obligations and I can make no promises of how the defendant will be dealt with.
“All options remain open and imprisonment is a prospect.”
The incidents, according to prosecutors in court on Tuesday, began in November 2017 when items such as food and milk began to disappear from the victim’s home.
A family friend then noticed cash, which had been hidden around the house, was missing.
A ‘large quantity’ of cigarettes, hidden at the back of a cupboard, had also been taken which led to the victim’s son installing the CCTV around his mother’s property – a move which caught Bastable in the act.
Prosecutor Michael Greenhalgh said: “Throughout December that year, Bastable was recorded stealing from the then 80-year-old on more than one occasion, helping herself to food from the kitchen cupboards and was often seen rifling through drawers, jewellery boxes and the victim’s purses hunting for cash and other valuables.
“She stole a gold bangle as the pensioner slept in the same room. Later that same evening, she helped herself to toiletries and perfume from gift sets. Some of these items were recovered by police during a search of Bastable’s home following her arrest in December 2017.
“When questioned by police about why she was regularly seen to not give the housebound victim her medication, she stated she ‘must have forgotten’.”
The victim’s family members, present in court, shook their heads from the public gallery after Judge Slater ordered the report to be carried out, giving a timeframe of ‘six weeks’.
Mr Greenhalgh added: “The family want an end to this as soon as possible and I must express our disappointment on their behalf.”
Bastable was bailed ahead of her next appearance at the same court on February 28.