Sophia Smith was a deputy manager at Lifeways as she cruelly took advantage of the 70-year-old woman, who had learning difficulties and was disabled
Sophia Smith, a heartless carer, stole £34,000 from a vulnerable woman to fulfil her own selfish wants.
She was a deputy manager at Lifeways and took advantage of a 70-year-old lady with learning difficulties and disabilities. The 33-year-old mum from Walsall raised eyebrows when she started treating others to McDonald’s breakfasts. However, the full extent of her scam wasn’t uncovered until later when the victim found out about a Lloyds bank account she didn’t know existed.
Smith had opened this account in the victim’s name and even applied for loans, one of which was approved for over £8,000. An investigation showed that between 2019 and 2020, she made 26 payments to Uber Eats. She also splurged on an Armani tracksuit and boxer shorts, a New Year’s Eve masquerade ball, a family holiday from Haven, and another trip booked through loveholidays.
On December 23, 2019, she went on a Christmas shopping spree at Next, Iceland and Primark. Smith, from Bridle Lane in Streetly, Walsall, broke down at Birmingham Crown Court as her heartless actions were revealed.
After admitting to two counts of fraud, she was sentenced to two years behind bars, BirminghamLive reported. Prosecutor Henry Skudra stated: “One of (the victim’s) carers began noticing the defendant was buying other staff McDonald’s breakfasts. She also bought breakfasts for (the victim) but was using her card to pay for it all.”
Smith had instructed colleagues to send the victim’s post to her, including bank statements. Alarm bells rang when residents at Smith’s Birmingham accommodation attended a trip to Disneyland Paris, yet the victim had significantly less money than staff expected.
In July 2020, the victim received a letter from debt collectors due to Smith’s spending. At first, Smith confessed to taking £2,500, blaming bad influences and debts. The judge told the woman who stole from a vulnerable person: “You and others had control over all (the victim’s) finances but you were the only one who used your position, role and opportunity to steal from her.
“And you did so excessively and you did so using different methods over a protracted period, wastefully and at times extravagantly. You had a significant degree of trust. She was very vulnerable and couldn’t have known what you were doing. If she did, she couldn’t have complained. No-one would have suspected or believed you were capable of such dishonesty.”
“This was an extensive and detailed fraud to maybe in some small part to repay debts of others but in my judgement to fund a good lifestyle.”
Her lawyer asked for a soft sentence because jail time would affect her son, saying: “The defendant has moved from one violent relationship to another. There is no-one but herself to blame in relation to that. She clearly suffers medically as a result of the remorse and shame.”
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Robert Johnson is a UK-based business writer specializing in finance and entrepreneurship. With an eye for market trends and a keen interest in the corporate world, he offers readers valuable insights into business developments.