A STOURPORT drug addict posed as a carer to trick her way into a vulnerable, elderly woman’s home and steal her money.

Samantha Wade targeted an 80-year-old woman, pretending to be her carer to dupe her way inside her home in Layamon Walk, in Stourport.

Once inside, Wade stole £80 in cash from the woman’s handbag and would have taken her bank card too – if the woman had not refused to give it to her.

The 34-year-old, of Old Ford Walk, appeared at Worcester Crown Court via videolink on Friday (November 3) for the ‘mean burglary’ at the woman’s home on July 23, of this year.

Christopher Lester, prosecuting, described the victim as a vulnerable woman who lived alone, relying on carers to assist her four times a day.

Wade arrived at the woman’s door claiming to be her new carer and took £40 from her bag, saying it was for shopping, but then said it was not enough and took a further £40.

Mr Lester told the court Wade also tried to take her bank card, but the woman refused to give it to her.

Wade left the house, walking in the opposite direction to the shops and, when challenged by the elderly woman, said she went a different way to get there.

Police were called when the proper carer arrived at 8am to prepare the elderly woman’s breakfast. Wade was identified by a police officer from a neighbour’s CCTV before being picked out by the victim at an identity parade.

When arrested, Wade refused to submit a sample of saliva for drug testing and denied the burglary, Mr Lester told the court.

He added: “There are no burglaries in her history but there is much dishonesty of one form or another.”

Mr Lester said the burglary involved ‘greater harm’ and high culpability’, describing the victim as ‘self-evidently vulnerable’.

He said: “There was some form of targeting or planning. She knew one of the names of the carers and had patter ready to be able to get inside, claiming she was a carer as well.

“This was the defendant masquerading as someone she would have been expecting.”

No victim personal statement was provided by the woman.

Wade claimed she had been under pressure from her now ex-partner to find money for drugs.

Simon Rippon, defending, said society would be better served by Wade receiving rehabilitation in the community for her long-standing drug use, a route not previously followed.

He also argued that, if jailed, Wade would be ‘mixing with more sophisticated offenders’.

Recorder Gareth Evans QC described it as ‘a mean burglary’.

He said: “You targeted this old lady and you knew that she was awaiting the presence of one of her carers.

“You impersonated that carer and went in with the sole purpose of ripping her off.

“You wanted her credit card but she had the good sense not to give it to you and away you went.”

However, he said he accepted it was in the country’s best interest that Wade be given help to kick her drugs habit, so she did not return to the courts.

Wade was sentenced to 15 months in prison, but suspended the term for two years. She was also ordered to complete 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and a six month drug rehabilitation requirement.

She must pay a £140 victim surcharge and £80 compensation.