Shameless carer stole £58k from gran with dementia before delivering her eulogy

A carer who stole from people she was meant to be looking after and defrauded more than £250,000 from her own parents to fund her "all consuming" gambling addiction has been jailed.

Clare Roughley, 39, also stole from her own grandmother and even paid tribute to her at her funeral, and then continued to drain money from her estate.

She stood in front of friends and family and delivered her eulogy to her gran Theresa Leyland while loved ones listened unaware of her deceit, a court heard.

Liverpool Crown Court was told she took £58,221 from her dementia-suffering gran's estate and even took money that was supposed to fund her funeral.

Although Theresa, who died aged 95 in 2019, bequeathed Roughley £6,000 in her will, she used up all the funds in her estate while her funeral was unpaid for 10 months.

The court heard she used her experience as a bank manager to con her parents and grandparents out of their life-savings.

But her stealing didn't end there. Roughly also fraudulently set up a credit card in the name of quadriplegic woman for whom she had cared for seven years.

Roughley, who previously pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and one count of fraud, was yesterday jailed for seven years by Liverpool Crown court.

Peter Hussey, prosecuting, said she took control of her father Raymond Roughley's bank account without his knowledge in 2014.

She preyed on his vulnerability and lack of financial awareness to consistently deposit his money, he said.

The former council worker, 64, believed his £50,000 life savings and pension schemes meant he could live out his days comfortably and without financial worry.

But his "whole world was turned upside down" as he learned his daughter – whom he trusted completely – had reduced his life savings down to zero, he said in a statement.

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Roughley carried on her deceit until her arrest in March 2020 and deposited a total of £91,437.83 out of her father's bank account, the court was told.

Mr Hussey told the court that during the same period, she also stole £158,738 from her mother Delwyn Roughley's bank account.

Both her parents are now on anti-depressants and anxiety tablets as they come to terms with their daughter's crimes, the court heard.

Roughley, of St Helens, Merseyside, also stole from Jean Almond, 70, who is quadriplegic and suffers from multiple sclerosis.

Unable to use her arms, Roughley was entrusted as the only member of the care team to have access to Mrs Almond's accounts.

She siphoned £17,200 from Mrs Almond and created a fake account to deposit a further £8,698 of funds into her own bank.

The court heard Mrs Almond and her husband Geoffrey have been "emotionally affected very deeply" and have not found another carer due to a complete lack of trust.

The court heard Roughley duped two friends and used their PayPal as an additional means to transfer funds from her victim's accounts to her own.

Jeremy Lasker, defending, said while there was "no excuse" for what Roughley did, the purpose of her actions was "not to live a life of luxury but to fund a gambling addiction".

He told the court: "When she was arrested, Roughley was actually relieved as she couldn't see any way out."

Judge Imran Shafi sentenced Roughley to four years for each count of theft running concurrently and two years for her charge of fraud to run consecutively.

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