A JUDGE said there was no excuse for two women conning a “vulnerable elderly man” from Stourport out of thousands of pounds.

Jacqueline Ashbery, 58, and daughter Samantha Ashbery, 39, used a Post Office card belonging to 76-year-old Alan Rainbow, defrauding him out of £10,700, a court heard.

John Brotherton, prosecuting, explained the pair were mother and daughter and had worked A Olive Care Ltd carers regularly visiting him. Mr Brotherton explained a neighbour noticed Mr Rainbow had become agitated and realised it was because his Post Office card was missing. The neighbour called the Post Office and realised it had been used a number of times throughout January - despite the victim only having used the card once at the start of the month.

“This led to the police being called, to investigate,” Mr Brotherton said.

“In total there were 21 unauthorised transactions of the complainants card being used.”

Mr Brotherton explained the pair had withdrawn the maximum amount, £600, on occasions and of the total £10,700 defrauded, Samantha had had a lesser role being responsible for £3,000 of that total.

Mr Brotherton said the offence had a significant impact on the victim’s life, as he lost out financially, and was now in a care home and not living independently.

Julia Powell, defending, said Jacqueline’s motivation was to pay off drug debts of family members, and the dealers had threatened her.

“She pleaded guilty at the first opportunity,” Ms Powell said.

“She lost her job as a result of the offending.”

Samantha Forsyth, defending, said she hoped the judge would give credit to Samantha, of Queen Elizabeth Road, for her lesser role and said her financial problems led to her becoming involved.

In sentencing, his honour Judge Jim Tindal said the Kidderminster pair had “stolen from a vulnerable old man you were supposed to be looking after”.The judge added there had been “no excuse” for the offending.

He gave Jacqueline, of James Road, a two year prison sentence, suspended two years, and told her to complete 20 rehabilitation activity days, and Samantha a 12 month sentence also suspended two years, with the same amount of days.

The case was heard at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.