A CARER used an elderly couple's bank card for her own gain, a court has heard.

Colleen Johnson, of Bateman Close, Shobdon, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation that happened in Wigmore between December 9, 2019, and August 14, 2020.

This included her using her clients' bank card to withdraw money from ATMs and get cashback, and purchasing her own shopping.

Eleanor Peart, prosecting at the court, said the 37-year-old was a carer for Allen and Annesley Gardiner.


"Mr Gardiner was 78 at the time and living with his wife Annesley," said Ms Peart.

"Mr Gardiner was the sole carer for his wife. In the autumn of 2019, he applied for a carer to help him, which would mainly be washing and dressing his wife.

The court heard that one of the carers was Johnson, who they found likeable and with whom their relationship grew.

"They were comfortable having her in their home and trusted her.

"They allowed her to use their debit card to do shopping."


Ms Peart added that the Covid pandemic meant that the couple had to isolate for 14 weeks. However, because they liked Johnson so much, they applied to hire her as a private carer, which Herefordshire Council granted. 

"They were so grateful that the defendant was doing their shopping during lockdown - she had their full trust," said Ms Peart.

However, the court heard that Johnson was instead buying goods for herself. In total, she took £3,000 from Mr and and Mrs Gardiner. 

Reading a victim statement from Mr Gardiner, Ms Peart said it has had a significant impact on the couple. 

"I feel embarrassed having to tell my family and friends," said Mr Gardiner. 

"I put my trust in her and I've severely betrayed."

In defence, George Cousins said his client, who has no previous convictions, has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and has shown a degree of remorse.

Johnson was given unconditional bail to appear back at Hereford Magistrates Court on October 11 for sentencing. 

Editor's note: This article previously contained reference to Bluebelles Care Agency. Colleen Johnson has no connection whatsoever with the Bluebelles Care Agency and we apologise for the error.