A CARER who stole money from a vulnerable disabled client to go on holiday has been jailed.

David Harris, 38, of Cambridge Avenue, Winsford, was given a 12-month custodial sentence at Chester Crown Court on Friday

after admitting stealing £2,150 using the victim's bank card at a cash machine and £1, 924 through fraud by false representation.

Michael Stephenson, prosecuting, told the court that Harris was a carer for Elsa Briggs, who suffered from a debilitating illness.

He was employed by Ace Care Professionals, a home care agency run by his mother Susan Jones.

Ms Briggs used to give her bank card and pin number to carers to do shopping for her, the court heard.

The theft was only discovered after she examined her bank statement and found some irregularities.

"Her account had a number of large withdrawals she could not account for," said Mr Stephenson.

"She drew this to the attention of Susan Jones."

Mrs Jones, director of Ace Care Professionals, carried out enquiries and spoke to all the carers who had access to Ms Briggs' bank account, including her son.

Harris told his mother he had used the card legitimately on one occasion and returned it.

However, when Mrs Jones was given more detailed information about the suspicious bank withdrawals, she noticed that a lot of them were for money withdrawn at a holiday camp in North Wales, the court was told.

The money had been taken between May 2 and June 20 this year.

"Mrs Jones was aware that her son had been at the camp at that time," said Mr Stephenson. "She confronted him and he conceded he was responsible."

Mrs Jones notified the police and Harris was arrested on July 18 and pleaded guilty at his first court hearing on August 2.

Altogether, the amount of money stolen was £4,074.78.

Adam Antozskiw, defending, said Harris had been motivated by 'greed and desperation'.

"He has paid a high price," he said. "He was dismissed from his employment immediately. On top of that he has been ostracised by his family. Today he will be evicted.

"He is deeply remorseful for what he has done. He wants to make reparation for what he has done, difficult as that may be."

Sentencing Harris, Judge Simon Berkson said: "You were employed as a carer working for your mother's business Ace Care Professionals.

"Elsa Briggs had every reason to trust you. Elsa was a highly vulnerable victim, she suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. You abused that position of trust.

"You put your own needs above that of hers. 

"You have caused misery and upset to two women as a result of your crime, Elsa, and your mother for breaching the trust she put in you.

"Elsa was not a rich woman. She was going to use that money for house repairs and expenses. You took it in a wholly selfish way as if it was yours.

"You should be ashamed of your behaviour."

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An immediate custodial sentence must be imposed, he said, because Harris had committed such 'serious criminal offences."

Harris was jailed for 12 months for each of the two offences with the sentence to run concurrently.

"You will serve half in custody and be released on licence," the judge told Harris.