Woman stole £4,400 from vulnerable woman who treated her as daughter

Ann Dunning of Newton St Faith stole more than £4,000 from a seriously-ill victim      Picture: Adrian Judd

Woman stole more than £4000 from vulnerable victim. Credit: Archant - Credit: Archant

A woman stole more than £4,000 from a seriously-ill victim who had treated her like a daughter, a court heard.

Ann Dunning, 60,  lived with the victim and her husband for 40 years and Norwich Crown Court heard that as well as providing a roof over her head, they completely trusted her.

David Wilson, prosecuting, said when the victim became ill and her husband was in a care home, she got Dunning to make two cash withdrawals using her card and had given her the PIN number.

However Dunning, without her permission, then went on to make other cash withdrawals over an 18-day period using the money to buy Amazon vouchers, DVDs and other items for her personal use.

Mr Wilson said matters came to light after cash was discovered missing and police were informed. He said Dunning was found to have made the unauthorised withdrawals amounting to £4,380.

Mr Wilson said Dunning was also found to have taken out some payday loans and he said that might have also been some motivation for her behaviour.

He said the victim died in August 2019 during the course of the investigation and her husband had also since died.

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Dunning, of Newton Close, Newton St Faith, near Norwich, admitted fraud between June and July 2019.

Sentencing her, Recorder Douglas Edwards QC told Dunning: "For 40 years you shared a home with the victim. Your relationship was that they regarded you as something akin to a daughter."

He said: "This was a terrible breach of trust by you."

He said Dunning felt she had been treated as an unpaid carer and had missed out on life but said there was no basis for her feelings.

He said although there was no impact statement it must have been devastating for the victim, coming as it did at the last few months of her life and involving someone she had treated as a daughter.

Recorder Edwards imposed a 12-month community order and told her to do 200 hours unpaid work. There will also be a confiscation hearing to claw back cash she stole.

John Morgans, for Dunning, said she was of previous good character. He said it was her first experience of appearing court, which she had found terrifying.

"She feels bad for what she has done."

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