A woman stole £4,000 from her own dementia-stricken grandmother and used it to pay for a dream trip to Disneyland Paris.
Kathryn Kent was caught out by her family after she had posted holiday snaps on Facebook – and they began to wonder how she had afforded to pay for it.
A court heard that Kent, 28, also tried to take her 87-year-old grandmother to a solicitor to change her will – meaning she would inherit all her money.
Kent, of Cross Street in Burton, Staffordshire, admitted the theft but was spared jail and was given a 12-month suspended sentence at Derby Crown Court.
Sentencing, Recorder Adrian Reynolds said: ‘You have stooped about as low as you can get stealing from your own grandmother who is suffering from dementia.
‘I hope you are thoroughly ashamed of yourself. There are probably a number of people that think I should send you to prison but I am not going to.
‘It is apparent to me that you have your problems and you are struggling. If I send you to prison that will not help you and I strongly suspect that your grandmother would not want that either.
‘It was a dreadful wrong that you carried out and you know that.’
Katrina Wilson, prosecuting, said Kent’s grandmother was living with a family member in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, when the theft took place.
Miss Wilson said the pensioner had previously lived with Kent and, during that time, had let her have access to her bank account ‘on the express proviso’ that money would only be withdrawn ‘to pay for living essentials’.
‘The theft itself took place on September 19, 2016. It was discovered that £4,000 had been withdrawn from the victim’s bank account and this defendant had gone on holiday to Disneyland Paris,’ the prosecutor said.
‘She posted pictures on social media and they [Kent’s family] questioned how she was able to afford to do that.
‘It was also discovered that she had arranged to take her to a solicitor to write a new will but that has been overturned by a new will.’
The theft had caused Kent’s grandmother ‘a high degree of emotional distress at the abuse of trust’, Miss Wilson said.
In a victim impact statement, she said: ‘I am very upset at what’s happened and simply want my money back.’
Kent pleaded guilty to one count of theft.
Elisabeth Evans, defending, said her client had no previous convictions and had never been in trouble with the police before.
‘At the time of the offence she was living an emotionally unstable lifestyle and was in a controlling relationship,’ she told the court.
‘As a result of this she suffered a mental breakdown. She is on medication for anxiety and depression.’
Recorder Reynolds asked Miss Evans: ‘Does she accept that some of the money was used to fund the holiday to Disneyland?’
Miss Evans replied: ‘She does, your honour, and she is keen to pay her grandmother back.’