A CARER stole nearly £10,000 from an elderly neighbour by cashing in fraudulent cheques and using her bank card.

Beverley Janet Elizabeth Chabot, of Ramsey Road, St Ives, was warned she could be jailed after she plundered 79-year-old Nora Anderson's savings on a daily basis for more than two months, using the proceeds to buy a new moped and go on a spending spree with a shopping website.

Chabot admitted stealing £2,540 in cheques through false representation and £7,320.75 in cash withdrawals from Mrs Anderson's bank account, when she appeared at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court last week.

The 37-year-old had been a carer for Mrs Anderson on a privately-funded basis.

Although at the time of the offences she was not working for Mrs Anderson, she visited the pensioner, who was described as 'very vulnerable' and suffering from memory problems, every day.

When asked about the visits, Mrs Anderson defended Chabot, saying she was just being friendly, but suspicions were aroused when Mrs Anderson's bank card went missing.

Penny Cannon, prosecuting, said Mrs Anderson's son, who has power of attorney over his mother's affairs, asked to see her most recent bank statement.

"He found a lot of money had been taken by way of cash withdrawals.

"They discovered a large amount of money missing and that there had been a large number of withdrawals from cash machines at the Spar in St Ives."

Staff at the Constable Road Co-op store confirmed Chabot withdrew cash from the store's ATM on a daily basis and had CCTV image of the defendant.

When two of Mrs Anderson's three sons raised the question of the missing bank card with Chabot, she poked fun at the situation by suggesting they were getting the blame.

Two bags filled with £1,700 were later discovered among Mrs Anderson's bins, believed to have been left there by Chabot.

Mrs Canon said: "The defendant was in a position of trust. She was a carer for Mrs Anderson and Mrs Anderson was totally reliant upon her for her daily needs.

"Although she [Chabot] has not got any previous convictions, this matter is too serious to be dealt with by magistrates and should be sent to crown court for sentence."

David Potter, mitigating, pointed out Chabot was the subject of a restraining order and had returned all goods purchased with the stolen cash.

Magistrates declined jurisdiction - they can only impose a maximum prison sentence of 12 months - and committed the case to Peterborough Crown Court.

Chabot was awarded bail on condition she does not contact Mrs Anderson or her sons, or visit Mrs Anderson's home address or the Cheers off-licence.