Burnley care worker to pay back £2,000 after taking £21,000 from dementia patient

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A CARE worker who stole more than £21,000 from an 82-year-old woman who suffered from dementia has been ordered to pay back just £2,000.

Bernadette Launder (40), who was jailed in August for stealing the life savings of the vulnerable resident while working at Dove Court Nursing Home, faced a Proceeds of Crime hearing at Burnley Crown Court.

Launder, who was released from jail a quarter of the way through her eight-month sentence, was given a confiscation order, but will pay back less than 10% of the money she stole.

His Honour Judge Leeming QC ordered Launder to sell off a Renault Scenic she owned, in order to pay back the £2,000.

Launder was ordered to pay the money within 56 days. The cash will be given in compensation to Mrs Mildred Rigby, who is still cared for at the nursing home, in Shuttleworth Street.

At the original court hearing, Launder admitted making cheques out to herself totalling £21,544 between October 1st, 2009, and October 15th last year.

She admitted squandering the money on luxury items such as clothes, perfume and presents for her children.

The crime was discovered when the care home received a letter from the bank, stating Mrs Rigby had gone thousands of pounds into her overdraft. Launder, of West Street, handed herself into Burnley Police Station.

She was given eight months in jail – a sentence branded “disgusting” by her former colleagues.