York & North Yorkshire

'Repulsive' Bedale carer fleeced victim, 96, of £22,000

Joan Garbutt Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption Joan Garbutt stole £22,805 from her frail 96-year-old victim

A woman who posed as a friend and carer to a frail 96-year-old woman fleeced her victim out of more than £22,000.

Joan Garbutt, 59, of Fitzalan Road, Bedale, North Yorkshire, withdrew and transferred money from her victim's bank account over three years.

Police described Garbutt's actions as "repulsive and "sickening".

She was given an 18-month jail term suspended for two years and must wear a tag to enforce a 19:00-07:00 curfew for six months.

Garbutt, who denied the offences, stole a total of £22,805 in a number of transactions, a jury at Teesside Crown Court was told.

Police began an investigation in 2017 two months after the death of the unnamed victim, who was also from Bedale.

After the hearing, PC Caroline Pugh, who led the investigation, said: "This was a sickening act in which Garbutt gained the trust of a vulnerable 96-year-old woman by pretending to be her friend and carer.

"She then abused her position to systematically steal large sums of money from the woman's savings. She showed no remorse and has never admitted her guilt.

"It was a repulsive betrayal of trust and it's difficult to understand how anyone can do something so heartless and calculated to someone so elderly and vulnerable."

North Yorkshire Police has applied for a Proceeds of Crime Act order to try to recover the money Garbutt stole, but it is not clear how much can be recovered.

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