A Sheffield woman who frittered away thousands of pounds on designer clothes after fleecing a relative has been jailed.
Julia Patterson, aged 43, was jailed for two years for fraud at Sheffield Crown Court following an investigation led by social services.
Patterson, of Clumber Road, Ranmoor, went on expensive shopping trips with money paid into her accounts and credit cards from her 88-year-old victim, who died at the beginning of the year.
After gaining power of attorney from her aunt, Patterson gained access to about £251,331 of her money.
A further £212,039 from the elderly woman’s account had gone in cheque payments to unknown payees.
The court heard how Patterson let the lady live on a small allowance in a residential home in Sheffield and fell into arrears with payments for care while spoiling herself with designer clothing.
Patterson was jailed after admitting fraud by abuse of position.
Her victim died in January this year.
Detective Constable Elizabeth Claridge, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Patterson has been compliant throughout the investigation and has shown some remorse. However, she has nothing to show for the money that has been spent and the vast majority was for materialistic personal gain.
“This investigation sends out a message to others who are in a position of trust and abuse that position, that the police will prosecute and protect the vulnerable members of our society.”
Social services raised the alarm with police after becoming concerned with Patterson’s behaviour.
Coun Mary Lea, Sheffield Council cabinet member for health and care, said: “The custodial sentence reflects just how serious this crime was.
“It’s our job to look at how people pay for their care.
“Where we suspect any irregularities in how a vulnerable person’s money is being managed we take this very seriously.
“Thanks to persistence and integrity of our team, we uncovered a raft of irregularities.”