A fraudster posed as a Good Samaritan in order to steal thousands of pounds from an elderly lady.
Sarah Wilmott, aged 45, approached her victim in November 2018 after learning she had been taken ill.
Wilmott befriended the woman and offered to do some shopping on her behalf – taking her bank card and her PIN number on the understanding she would buy only what was needed.
The victim, now aged in her eighties, was taken ill again before Christmas and remained in hospital until February 2019.
During this time Wilmott stole around £6,000, using the same card to buy her own shopping and fund the purchase of electrical items.
On one occasion she spent nearly £400 on a vacuum cleaner.
The fraud was discovered when the victim checked her bank statements and realised a substantial sum of money was missing.
When she was interviewed by the police, Wilmott, of Newthorpe, Nottingham, claimed her victim had agreed to all the spending.
She later pleaded guilty to one count of fraud.
Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, she was given an eight-month jail sentence suspended for 12 months.
She was also handed a four-month curfew order to remain at her home address between the hours of 8pm and 7am.
Detective Constable Christopher MacDonald, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a cynical and calculating fraud committed against a vulnerable elderly victim. Wilmott knew what she was doing was wrong but continued her spending spree over a period of many weeks – all at the expense of woman who was being treated in hospital.
“She posed as a Good Samaritan but in reality this was simply an act she used in order to steal. This type of offending is extremely personal in nature and causes a significant amount of distress to victims who feel betrayed by what has happened.
“We won’t tolerate this kind of offending and will deploy whatever resources necessary in order to bring offenders to justice.”