Cruel carer stole almost £25k from a bedbound terminally ill elderly woman

A ‘despicable’ carer stole almost £25,000 from a terminally ill woman she was supposed to be looking after.

Cheryl Ann Stringer used the cash to treat herself to a new oven, tumble dryer, candles, jewellery, clothing and a tablet.

She also had her home fitted with new carpets and curtains.

READ MORE : Parents of tragic teen stabbed to death after he was lured to street speak out as his killers are convicted

The 54-year-old, of Woodstock Crescent, in Woodley, Stockport, has now been jailed for two years.

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Minshull Street Crown Cour t heard that Anne Blackham, 82, was moved into a care home in Stockport in December 2019, having been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

She received four visits a day from care workers, including Stringer.

Mrs Blackham’s nephew held power of attorney along with her solicitor and had access to her online back account.

On January 23 of this year, he logged into the account and saw that £300 had been withdrawn in cash.

As Mrs Blackham was bedbound, he knew that someone else must have been responsible for the transaction.

Minshull Street Crown Court
(Image: MEN Media)

Upon going through her statements, he discovered that £24,840.34 worth of purchases and cash withdrawals had been made from the account between November 2020 and January 2021.

Mrs Blackham died on January 31 2021, the court heard.

Police enquiries found that Stringer had purchased a number of appliances from MG Domestic, in Hyde, using a debit card with a number matching Mrs Blackham’s bank account.

CCTV recovered from Asda in Hyde, as well as B&M, also showed Stringer making cash withdrawals outside at the ATMs and inside at the self-scan checkouts, that matched with transactions on Mrs Blackham’s account.

A search warrant was carried out on Friday 19 February 2021 at Stringer’s home, where she was arrested, and admitted purchasing a number of items using Mrs Blackham’s bank card.

Stringer’s assets were frozen, and she pleaded guilty at Stockport Magistrates Court on 18 October 2021 to an offence of fraud.

Recorder Timothy Hannam QC described this case as “an appalling case of cynical greed”, stating that Stringer had stolen money from her victim at the rate of nearly £2500 a week, and that her nephew had been devastated that he had entrusted his aunt’s care to Stringer.

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Financial Investigator Mark Chesters from GMP’s Stockport District said: “Stringer made the despicable decision to take advantage of an elderly, and sick woman to fund her own lifestyle, and we’re pleased that she is being punished for her crime.

“However we won’t stop here. While we’re pleased Stringer will be spending time behind bars, her assets have been frozen pending a confiscation hearing set for January 12 2022, when we’ll seek to make sure Mrs Blackham’s family receive the compensation they deserve.

“Fighting fraud is a relentless task, but we will continue to work diligently to strip the ill-gotten gains from criminals and I’d like to thank the public for continuing to support our work by reporting fraud, and sharing information.

“If you see something, or suspect something is wrong, tell us, and we can do something about it.”

Anyone with information can contact police on the GMP website, call 101 or 999 in an emergency, or call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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