Social care worker jailed after stealing £90,000 from elderly people she looked after

A social worker has been jailed and suspended from the profession after stealing £90,000 from elderly victims to pay for holidays abroad.

Karen Kersey-Smith, 47, targeted three victims as old as 92 to pay for a family holiday to the Canary Islands and Florida.

A court heard her financial records showed she spent £4,275 on a Gran Canaria holiday for a family of five. She also put a deposit on a £6,480 family trip to Florida.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Kersey-Smith took the money from two women aged 92 and 86, and a man in his 60s with dementia.

Kersey-Smith, of Wrexham, North Wales, later confessed to her boss saying: "I think I have made a terrible mistake."

Prosecutor Chris Hopkins said two of the victims had passed away since she had committed the thefts.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Kersey-Smith had taken £90,000 from the victims. Credit: Google Maps

Kersey-Smith had been employed as a social worker for Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Victim Mary Adamson, 92, had left a note in her handbag saying her social worker was stealing from her before she died.

In a victim personal statement, her grand-daughters said she seemed very mistrustful and would take her handbag with her everywhere she went.

Her grand-daughters said they were “so sad that she passed away before her social worker came to trial.”

The court heard Kersey-Smith used Ms Adamson’s Post Office and bank accounts to steal £41,494.38 between November 2015 and September 2017.

She stole £21,191.86 from dementia sufferer William Finter - who has also passed away.

The third victim was an 86-year-old woman who had £27,642.74 stolen from her.

Kersey-Smith took the money from two women aged 92 and 86, and a man in his 60s with dementia. Credit: PA Images

In a statement she said: “It has highlighted how vulnerable I am. I can’t escape the fact that this could happen again.”

Kersey-Smith, of Gwersyllt, Wrexham, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft. Judge Simon Berkson jailed her for two years and four months.

He said: “You had a position of trusted care for many years with responsibility for the old and infirm.

“You took advantage of that position when, over a sustained period of time, you stole thousands and thousands of pounds.

“This has affected their lives and also their families. They have not got their money back"

A Proceeds of Crime Act is due to take place. Social Work England confirmed she is suspended from their register until at least May next year when she can appeal.