A HEREFORDSHIRE carer who defrauded an elderly has been spared jail.

Colleen Johnson, of Bateman Close, Shobdon, was a carer for Allen and Annersley Gardiner, a couple who were married for 52 years.

Mark Hambling, prosecuting at Hereford Magistrates Court, said the couple built a relationship with the 37-year-old, who previously worked for Bluebird Care.

"The agreement was to go shopping for them and them giving her bank cards," said Mr Hambling.


"In the middle of January 2020, Miss Johnson stopped working for Bluebird Care and worked for another company. 

"They were very sad. The pandemic then hit in March 2020 and they [Mr and Mrs Gardiner] decided to hire Miss Johnson privately."

The court heard that, on August 15, 2020, Mr Gardiner checked his bank account and noticed a lot of money had been withdrawn which was unexpected.

"There was only one other person who it could be, and that was Miss Johnson," said Mr Hambling.


In a victim impact statement read out to the court, Mr Gardiner said he put his trust in Johnson, and felt severely betrayed. In total, Johnson, who pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation that took place in Wigmore between December 9, 2019 and August 14, 2020, stole £3,564. 

In defence, Ed Middleton said impulsive gambling seems to have been the driving force of his client's offending. He added that, if Johnson was sent to prison, her children would be taken into care.

Magistrates therefore handed her a fourth-month sentence, suspended for 18 months. 

She also has to pay Mr Gardiner £461.48 in compensation, as well as carry out 30 rehabilitation requirement days. 

Court costs of £185 and a victim surcharge of £187 were also imposed.