Heartless carer took to eBay after stealing £6,000 from vulnerable pensioner


A heartless woman cried in court after she was convicted of stealing from a vulnerable 78-year-old pensioner she was supposed to care for.

Nicola Brimage has helped herself £5,948.50 from a housewife, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, leaving her “deadly” and in debt.

The 32-year-old from Bidston, Merseyside has been described as ‘the shorter the better’. Liverpool Echo reported .

During a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court, Brimage claimed she “couldn’t stop” and just “continued to spend” her victim’s money.

She spent thousands of dollars on Amazon, eBay and through PayPal transactions, using her own name and email address, in three consecutive months of spending from February to July last year.

At first, when faced with her crime, she lied and tried to assert that it was all a “false” until she confronted the evidence.

When a victim’s heartbreaking sentence was read out, Brimage cried in the dock, but her ruthless actions scared the pensioner to trust her caregivers more.

Caregivers blew almost £6,000 on online shopping sprees


Echoes of Liverpool)

Prosecutor Paul Blasbery said: “The victim said she put a lot of trust in Nicola. She liked her, respected her and appreciated what she did for her.

“When she learned Nicola had stolen all this money from her, she was very disappointed.

“She thinks she can trust Nicola and her other caregivers. She feels embarrassed that she’s been seen as a fool by someone who took advantage of her weakness.”

He quoted the victim, who said: “Sometimes my carers are the only people I see in a day and ever since this happened I’ve been feeling worried that I shouldn’t be trusted. them too.”

Mr Blasbery added: “She said she had lent Nicola £50 when she said she was short on cash.

“Instead of appreciating the gesture, she took advantage of her, stealing from her more than 300 times.”

Cold caretaker is released from prison


Echoes of Liverpool)

He quoted the victim as saying: “If Nicola needs money, she just needs to ask me. She doesn’t have to steal from me.”

“I understand carers are not well paid. I think the work they do is amazing. I always appreciate everything the carers have done for me.

“I feel that taking advantage of the elderly is cruel and the lower the better.

“One day Nicola will be old and vulnerable too. I hope she doesn’t see herself as the victim of a younger person taking advantage and stealing from her.

“I really hope that Nicola has learned an important lesson from this and will change her ways in the future.”

The court heard that even though it was against the rules of the care agency she worked for, Brimage began helping the victim shop, who provided her with a cash card and PIN, and trusted her to come. ATMs and cash withdrawals.

The theft, between February 2021 and July 2021, was uncovered when NatWest contacted the woman to say she had used her overdraft.

Her victim was scared to trust other caregivers


Echoes of Liverpool)

Mr Blasbery said the victim in turn contacted her son, who checked the bank statement and made a spreadsheet which he gave to the police.

Staff spoke to Amazon, eBay and PayPal, and they discovered Brimage used her own name and email account when making the £5,948.50 purchase.

When officers arrested Brimage at her home on September 8, they discovered the items were purchased online.

Brimage was sentenced to 12 months in prison, 18 months of probation, with a Required Rehabilitation Activity of 15 days and 80 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Blasbery insisted none of these were “life essentials” and were “general household goods and some luxury goods”.

When interviewed by police, Brimage said her victim had asked her to withdraw £250 in cash several times and had given her a card and PIN.

The court said the money was not even spent on essential items



Mr Blasbery said she claimed after paying the victim on her phone the card details were definitely saved and when making payments to PayPal and eBay she clicked on those details “by mistake” confused”.

However, when confronted with the evidence she confessed.

Prosecutors said it was “thankfully” NatWest had fully reimbursed the victim.

Ben Berkson, defense, said: “Nothing I would say will diminish the greedy and callous crime here.”

He said Brimage is a bright, young woman who has spent her adult life “caring for the vulnerable in a thoughtful way”, but was at a “very low level” last year.

Mr Berkson said: “Suppressed, controlled, shamed and abused by a previous partner, she sadly let me know that she felt worthless and that it was her lack of confidence and hope that did. turn off her usual sense of right and wrong.”

He said Brimage was on benefits after losing her job in primary care, and was fired by another care agency in the Wirral after she was declared unfit to work, but she is currently working. find work again.

She leaves the woman in debt and is “devastated” by the betrayal of trust



He added that her regret client “felt terrible” and that she had “learned a lesson and committed to self-growth and positive stamp back into society”.

The judge, Recorder Michael Blakey, said victims were “extremely vulnerable” and “completely dependent” on healthcare professionals and their support.

He told Brimage: “She trusts you as someone who will do your best to help her and definitely won’t steal anything from her.”

Recorder Blakey said Brimage decided to make money on her own to help the woman and buy products online, “almost none of which are goods that you really need, some of which are luxuries”.

However, the judge said she was of good character before, accepted she had let herself down “extremely badly”, had strong personal mitigating measures and he believed there was a potential for improvement. realistic hope for recovery.

Recorder Blakey said: “It seems counterproductive to me to send you immediately for detention.”

The judge sentenced her to 12 months in prison, 18 months of probation, with a 15 day Rehabilitation Activity Request and 80 hours of unpaid work.

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