South Yorkshire pair stole £5,000 from neighbours

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case
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A mother and daughter who betrayed the trust of their elderly South Yorkshire neighbours by fleecing them out of £5,000 have been sent to prison.

Jade Pearsall, aged 23, stole a cheque book from dementia patient Jean Havenhand and her partner Kenneth Sykes after the couple gave her and her mother a key so they could help out with household chores.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Pearsall wrote cheques to herself worth £2,570, then took the money out of her bank account.

She also wrote cheques worth £1,900 to her mother, Sandra Ingham, aged 43, which Ingham cashed.

More cheques to the value of £850 were found by police but had not been cashed.

Bev Tait, prosecuting, said the money was stolen over five months.

She told the court Pearsall and her mother, of Church View, Swinton, Rotherham, were regarded by the elderly couple as ‘family’ and two years before had been given a key to their home so they could make meals, clean for them, and help out with the housekeeping.

The elderly couple had also lent the defendants money in the past.

But in April 2012 Mr Sykes discovered Mrs Havenhand’s bank account was overdrawn and the police were called.

Both women admitted theft and fraud.

In a victim personal statement Mr Sykes said he was ‘distraught’ and felt he had been ‘taken advantage of’.

“He had helped them previously and was disappointed at their behaviour,” Miss Tait added.

Jailing Pearsall for eight months, and Ingham for six, Judge Roger Keen said they had been given a high degree of trust.

He added: “What you did was throw it back in the faces of those people.”