Pair sentenced after stealing from disabled woman

PUBLISHED: 11:12 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:32 31 July 2019

The case was heard at Chelmsford Crown Court. Picture: GOOGLE

The case was heard at Chelmsford Crown Court. Picture: GOOGLE

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A disabled woman who had money stolen by a former friend and former carer said it has affected her trust in people.

The 61-year-old entrusted Nicola Rawlings to withdraw money from her account to buy shopping.

Rawlings worked for the victim in September 2017 and did not return a house key when she left her employment.

Rawlings and her friend Damen Sims used the key to enter the victim's house in Sycamore Close, Takeley, between April 16 and 17, 2018, and took her purse.

Her bank and credit cards were used to withdraw £440.

The victim said she suffers with panic attacks and cannot leave her house to go the shops or post office because she is worried about seeing Rawlings and Sims.

The victim said: "I dread going to sleep in case the same situation happens again. I hide my purse when anyone comes visiting as I am recalling the incident. My nerves are shattered. I trust no-one."

Rawlings, of Russell Francis Way, Takeley, and Sims, of Mortymer Close, Little Canfield, were arrested on May 15, 2018. They were summonsed to court that November following an investigation.

At Chelmsford Crown Court on May 21, Rawlings admitted one count of burglary and one of fraud by false representation. She also admitted breaching a suspended sentence.

Sims admitted two counts of fraud by false representation.

They returned to court on Friday for sentencing, where Rawlings, 27, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years.

A curfew was imposed for one month between 9pm and 9am and was made subject of a 10-year restraining order.

Sims, 37, was sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

He must complete 100 hours of unpaid work and was made subject of a 10-year restraining order.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Chris Sedgwick said: "The victim trusted Sims and Rawlings, and they breached that trust.

"Hopefully they will now be able to reflect on their actions and the impact of their despicable behaviour."

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