A 43-year-old Selhurst woman has received a suspended sentence for stealing money from an elderly woman she was providing care for.
Deborah Carrigan, 43, of Selhurst Road, admitted stealing on four separate occasions from the pensioner – a woman in her 90s – while providing care for her at her home in Shirley.
Carrigan admitted four counts of theft after being caught on a CCTV camera installed by the victim's son.
A police spokesman said around £75 was stolen in total.
The victim's son called police in August 2013 after he had become suspicious that somebody was taking money from his mother's purse.
He consequently installed a small CCTV camera inside a dummy smoke-alarm in her kitchen.
Two days after installing the camera, he noticed more money was missing from the purse and when he looked back through the CCTV footage, he saw that one of the carers had taken the money from the purse.
Over the next couple of weeks the same carer took money from the purse on four separate occasions.
Police liaised with the care agency and identified her as Carrigan, and she was arrested on August 23 on suspicion of theft.
When questioned, Carrigan denied that she had stolen the money, stating the victim had given her permission to buy her items from the shops. However, she could not prove these claims or provide any receipts.
She was charged on February 27, and pleaded guilty to the four counts of theft on the first day of her trial on August 11.
Carrigan was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court on September 17 after to three months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months; given a 12-month supervision order; ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work; and pay a £100 victim surcharge
Trainee Detective Constable Hayley Rodgers, from Croydon CID, who investigated the case said:
"Carrigan was employed to look after her victim, who was an extremely vulnerable, elderly lady. But instead of looking out for her welfare, she took advantage of her and stole money from her purse.
"She then tried to make out that the victim had given her permission, but we were able to disprove her account.
"Carrigan was left with little option than to plead guilty and she will now be unable to work in the care industry again."