A post office clerk stole from a disabled pensioner after getting into debt over payday loans.
Dawn Midgley took £1,000 from the vulnerable pensioner’s account on three separate occasions to pay back loans she had taken out with payday lender Wonga.
Joanna Butler-Savage, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court the wheelchair-bound victim was 73 and suffered from diabetes and Alzheimer’s as well as recently having a stroke.
Midgley, 45, was working at the Mirfield branch on Huddersfield Road, where she had access to the woman’s bank card. She was confronted by her manager after £350 was found on her desk on August 7.
When questioned why the cash was there, Midgley claimed she had user her own mother’s card and said her son had taken that home. She was asked to go and get that card and left the branch but did not return, later resigning.
Miss Butler-Savage said she then met another member of staff in the street and when asked why she was not at work, admitted drawing some money out of the pensioner’s account. She told her colleague she had taken a loan out with Wonga. She also said she was due to take her son and a friend of his to Silverstone.
When her home was searched two receipts were discovered showing she had also made two previous withdrawals in April for £400 and £250.
Ian Brook, mitigating, said Midgley had been made redundant in 2008. She started work at the post office in 2009 but struggled with money as her husband was in and out of work.
Midgley, of Priory Way, Mirfield, took out around eight loans but struggled to pay them back as the interest increased. Her last loan of £500 took almost all of her monthly salary of £600 to pay back.
Mr Brook said Midgley was ashamed of her actions and said the cash had only gone towards food shopping and bills.
Sentencing, Recorder Paul Kirtley said: “Not only was this a breach of the trust put in you by the post office, but it was taking of advantage of a particularly vulnerable individual.”
Midgley admitted three charges of theft and was given a nine month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,000 compensation.