A carer who stole from a pensioner suffering from dementia was caught after her daughter-in-law set up hidden cameras.
Paula Irvine, from Walton in Liverpool, stole hundreds of pounds from the 93-year-old she was caring for, at one point rifling through her handbag for the cash.
She was only caught when hidden cameras were set up in the pensioner's room after her daughter-in-law became "alarmed and confused" when she discovered around £600 was missing from her purse.
Footage showed Irvine, 48, crouched behind an armchair going through the pensioner's handbag.
Liverpool Crown Court heard Irvine had been turning up and stealing from the pensioner when she was not scheduled to work.
After being reported to police Irvine placed an envelope containing £540 upstairs in the property and falsely told officers she had placed it there for safekeeping after seeing her victim's purse left near the unlocked back door.
Members of the family in court said they had been left "disgusted, upset and disappointed" by the crime.
They said: "We are disgusted that someone could do this to an elderly lady who trusted her. She took advantage of a lovely 93-year-old woman with dementia."
Irvine's lawyer said the carer had "struggled financially" and had fallen into debts, having been in receipt of benefits even while working.
Irvine, who has no previous convictions, admitted five counts of theft and was handed a six-month imprisonment suspended for a year.
She was also told to serve a three-month curfew from 6pm to 5am plus a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Sentencing, Recorder Peter Cowan said: "It was a sordid, nasty offence to commit in any circumstances, never mind in the position of trust which you had been placed.
"You were committing these unpleasant offences over a period of six weeks.
"What is striking about this is, unsurprisingly, [the victim] was very upset when she discovered you taking money from her.
"It has caused her to suffer a loss of confidence and independence.
"People depend on the trust and integrity of carers. When anybody falls short and betrays that trust, that has a ripple effect", he added.
Irvine must also pay a victim surcharge.
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