A woman who ripped off her grandmother and Lancashire County Council when she helped herself to care fees has narrowly avoided jail.
Wendy McCall even produced fake bank account documents in a bid to make it appear £14,000 of missing fees had been paid.
In a blow to the cash strapped authority, McCall has been ordered to pay £14,000 compensation at a rate of £40 a month – which will take her nearly 30 years.
McCall, 35, Sibsey Street, Lancaster, admitted committing fraud by false representation between October 2012 and December 2014.
Prosecuting, David Clarke said Doreen Haggan, her grandmother, had been in residential care in Morecambe since December 2011.
He said: “A letter was sent to the family and from July 2012, £132.25 had to be paid monthly”
The defendant was left in charge of Mrs Haggan’s finances and bills.
But by the end of 2014 the council realised a large amount hadn’t been paid, totalling £14, 674.80.
McCall kept insisting she had paid the fees and later provided false printouts of online bank statements in a bid to mislead the council.
She had secretly been using her grandmother’s pensions and her care contributions from the council for herself through cash withdrawals and payments to music site iTunes.
The court heard after McCall’s arrest, the police had to interview the vulnerable 86-year-old victim, who could not understand that her granddaugher had been helping herself to the cash.
McCall was sentenced to 12 months, suspended for two years, with supervision and a £14,000 compensation order.
Karen Rogers, income and debt service manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “When the work of our Debt Management Team uncovers such cases, we are committed to working with our colleagues across the system, including Lancashire Police’s economic crime unit, to crack down on these crimes. We investigated this particular matter as soon as it was brought to our attention and we are pleased that it has been resolved.”