A CARER from Herefordshire has been jailed for six months after stealing £6,500 from a severely disabled patient.

Worcester Crown Court heard how Sarah Bevan, 39, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position after the patient's daughter noticed unusual transaction from the bank account.

Some £500 had initially been stolen, which prosecution barrister Morgan Pirone said was for flowers and a wedding photographer. This was paid back, but upon further inspection, the daughter noticed at least another £6,500 had been taken, and believed it was a lot more.

Mr Pirone described the victim as vulnerable and having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and unable to move from the neck down – except for some mobility in one hand.

Addressing the court, the victim's daughter said how her mother needed carer 24 hours a day and Bevan had preyed on her vulnerability.

She said the crime had "devastated" the family and caused her mum stress, sleepless night and an inability to trust people.

She said her mother's vulnerability had been exploited to the worst level, and the court also heard how the victim felt compelled to install CCTV cameras in her home to prevent anything similar from happening in the future.

In a statement, the victim also said how she felt her "extreme vulnerability" had been "preyed" on and caused her confidence to be destroyed.

Defence barrister Patrick Kelly said Bevan, of Monkton Place in St Weonards, had "deep regret" and was remorseful.

She was going through a tricky time in her own life, including struggling with relationships and her own mental health, but had "learnt her lesson" after stealing the money.

The court also heard how Bevan had paid back an initial £500 which was stolen, and Mr Kelly said Bevan was making arrangements to pay back another lump sum.

Judge Jim Tindal said Bevan had abused a position of trust by committing the offence over a "protracted period of time", causing a high impact on the victim and her family.

Sentencing Bevan to six months in prison, the judge said the breach of trust and impact were so great, only immediate custody was justified.