Husband and wife from Redditch fleeced 86-year-old partially-blind woman of £8,000 (From Redditch Advertiser)
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Husband and wife from Redditch fleeced 86-year-old partially-blind woman of £8,000
5:40pm Tuesday 30th October 2012 in News
A HUSBAND and wife fleeced a partially-blind woman of £8,000 by using her chequebooks to steal cash from two savings accounts, a jury was told.
Francis and Brenda Winters became carers for elderly Sheila Mayneord - who has since died - reading to her and taking her on outings and to the doctors.
But when the 86-year-old was taken to hospital with a heart attack, her family noticed "irregularities" in her Post Office account, said Daniel White, prosecuting at Worcester Crown Court.
They found a large number of withdrawals between April and June last year.
Francis Winters accepted he made withdrawals but his wife claimed sums taken out were only what the pensioner had asked for, the jury heard.
Mr White said £2,900 had been taken from the Post Office account and a further £5,100 from an HSBC account.
He alleged that the husband also obtained cash from another elderly resident, Audrey Ashby, by getting her to sign blank cheques, then filling them in for larger amounts than she had specified.
Francis Winters, aged 75, and 77-year-old Brenda Winters, both of Gorsey Close in Astwood Bank, deny theft from Sheila Mayneord between April and July 2011.
The husband also denies five counts of fraud relating to Audrey Ashby between August and October 2011.
Sums of £300 and £200 a time were taken from Mrs Mayneord's Post Office account, said Mr White.
Large sums were also taken from the HSBC account "sometimes on a daily basis", he said.
"Far too much for someone of that age living alone."
By May last year, money belonging to Mrs Mayneord was being paid into Brenda Winters' account, including amounts of £500 and £710, the jury heard.
Once the family became aware of the irregularities, Brenda Winters offered to pay £1,900 back, said Mr White.
He said Francis Winters had abused his position by obtaining £1,000 from Mrs Ashby by telling her he needed a loan to pay for an operation on his daughter's knees.
They had been friends for five years until she was taken into a nursing home.
Arrested, Francis Winters claimed he had loaned Mrs Ashby cash and she was repaying him.
The trial continues.