Heysham carer Karen Higgins jailed for thefts from housebound women

Karen Higgins
Image caption Higgins was investigated following a previous theft conviction

A Lancashire carer who stole more than £4,500 from two women, one aged 99 and another who was disabled and in her 60s, has been jailed for 24 months.

Karen Higgins, 54, of Wilson Grove in Heysham, pleaded guilty to two counts of false representation and five counts of theft at Lancaster Crown Court.

Higgins was charged after being released from a separate 16-month sentence she received for stealing £31,000 from another pensioner.

Police said Higgins was "truly wicked".

A Lancashire Constabulary spokesman said Higgins had "cruelly convinced" her victims she could be trusted with private information.

He said she had gained access to both women's bank accounts, taking £2,133 from the 99-year-old and £2,417 from her disabled victim.

He added that she had used the money in part to pay her own bills.

Speaking after sentencing, Det Con Brian Shepherd said Higgins had been investigated after her defence lawyers told the court in her original case that the theft of the £31,000 had been "a one off".

"We felt this was not the case and following a thorough investigation two further vulnerable victims were identified," he said.

"Both ladies have been left feeling extremely upset and embarrassed that someone they had liked and trusted and had even regarded as a friend has done this to them.

"Higgins is a truly wicked woman who selfishly exploited the trust of two very vulnerable housebound ladies and I hope that Higgins is never given the opportunity to work with vulnerable people again."

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