Mum treated herself to Ibiza holiday and hotel stays with Alzheimer's patient's credit card stolen from Blackpool care home

More than a thousand pounds was spent on a poorly pensioner's credit card by a woman who treated herself and her pal to a break in the sun.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 3:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 5:05 pm
Joanne Kendall

The HSBC card was stolen while the victim was being cared for at the Highgrove Care Home on St Annes Rd, Blackpool, Preston Crown Court heard.

Defendant Joanne Kendall, 26, splashed out on flights for herself and her friend with Ryanair and Monarch, as well as booking a hotel in Ibiza and Garstang, and paying for her friend's new passport.

The elderly victim is too ill to understand what has happened.

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Joanne Kendall

Mum-of-one Kendall, who admits five counts of fraud by false representation was found in possession of the card at the home she shares with her mother on Brun Grove, Blackpool.

The court was told Kendall's mother works at the residential home.

Prosecuting, Mark Stephenson said the frauds were discovered when the woman's niece found letters from HSBC at the pensioner's home, warning of the potential fraud, and contacted police. Similar transactions had also been made on her card by other people, including the purchase of cigarettes.

He said: " By April 17 her condition had deteriorated and she was subject to specialist care at a rest home in Blackpool.

"It's the case whilst in that facility someone stole her bank card. The card was then used in a number of fraudulent transactions. In essence it involves stealing from a woman utterly unaware, and who to this day remains unaware, of what happened.

The court heard the transactions amounted to £1,047.26, including a stay in a lodge in Garstang.

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On August 7 last year Kendall booked Ryanair flights to Ibiza from Manchester and return flights and a hotel the same day, as well as buying a new £106 passport online for her pal.

The bungling fraudster then posted a Facebook message openly boasting she had paid for her friend's holiday and passport.

When police visited her home they found the stolen card on top of a hamster cage.

In an interview she denied the offence and claimed a man called 'Dyl' had made the flight booking.

Arrogant Kendall posted a Facebook message to her friends hours before her sentencing at Preston Crown Court which said: "Last thing my barrister said don't be late, I've not even left Blackpool yet!"

Another, which joked about giving her clothes away if she was jailed, was later removed.

Her joking attitude seemed to have dissipated by the time she stood in the dock and she was given tissues as the proceedings took place.

Defending, Sharon Watson,said: " The offences were committed on two separate occasions, it is not a sustained course of conduct. However it is accepted the card was used purely for the purpose of Miss Kendall's personal pleasure and that's an aggravating feature."

A probation officer told the court Kendall "feels so sorry for the victim and victim's family and wishes she could pay the money back.

The court heard Kendall lives in a three bedroomed private rented house and works as a housekeeper earning £280 a week, but had struggled since the recent loss of her brother and a miscarriage.

Recorder Charles Kennedy QC said: "This case involves selfish and mean crimes on your part, crimes I'm pleased to say aren't reflected in your record to date, and enable me to agree that what you did - selfish, sustained ans thoughtless though it was, as well as being dishonest - was out of character.

"Be assured this court takes a very serious view of the kind of behaviour that you indulged in.

"It's not quite serious enough for you to go to prison. I'm going to give you a different sentence instead."

He imposed 100 hours of unpaid work, a rehabilitation activity, and compensation to HSBC which has since reimbursed the pensioner.

The Gazette contacted the home to ask if Kendall's mother was still in its employment and if any measures had been introduced since the incident, but staff declined to comment.