A callous carer who stole thousands of pounds from a dementia suffering couple and pawned their jewellery while she was supposed to be looking after them has been jailed.
Evil Jodie Canfield, 30, pocketed over £3,000 of jewellery and cash before blowing the money on cocaine and paying off drugs debts.
A court heard the wannabe model was entrusted to care for Brian Cale, 82, and his wife Eleanor, 81, but started stealing from them in December last year.
She swiped sentimental rings and necklaces from the frail couple over a period of four months after searching through their drawers, behind armchairs and under beds.
In total the mum-of-two stole £170 cash and pawned sentimental jewellery, which had been valued at £3,700.
Grandad-of-four Mr Cale has since passed away and his family believe the stress of the ordeal played a huge part in his death.
On September 11 Canfield admitted five counts of theft and one of conspiracy to conceal, disguise, transfer or remove criminal property.
She wept in the dock as she was jailed for 16 weeks at Worcester Crown Court.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Cullum said: “This was a mean theft from an elderly people who were dependent upon you. It was a gross breach of trust.”
The court heard Canfield visited the pensioner’s house in Redditch, Worcs., 10 times a week between September and December last year.
Anthony Potter, prosecuting, said the victims first thought Canfield was attentive and courteous when she started.
But within a month she stole a diamond ring, a gold bangle, necklaces and diamond earrings Mr Cale had bought his wife.
The agency carer was caught after the couple’s family became suspicious about the missing items on Christmas Day last year.
Mrs Cale had hoped to wear her beloved matching jade earrings and necklaces her husband had bought her but noticed they were missing.
The family called in police, who installed a hidden camera in a sting operation days after Christmas.
The footage showed Canfield brazenly take the jewellery and cash and move it behind a vase where it would not be noticed for some time before she left.
Jason Aris, defending, said Canfield, of Redditch, was paying off a debt caused by a cocaine habit.
Retired tool setter Mr Cale died on September 13 months after the thefts as a result of his dementia worsening.
His family said the trauma had “undoubtedly” played a part in his death and branded the sentence as “a joke.”
The couple, who had been married more than 61 years, have two children Steve Cale, 57 ,and Amanda Hetherington, 53.
Dad-of-three Steve, a self-employed kitchen and bathroom fitter, said: “I think it is an extremely soft sentence.
“It affected my mum a lot. The jewellery was very sentimental. It was jewellery my dad had bought my mum so she was very upset.
“If somebody comes in your house on a regular basis, you build up trust with them and you have a rapport with them. They talked with her on a friendly basis.”
“It did cause both of them quite a bit of trauma. They needed care so what could we do. She was their primary carer.
“She looked around the bedroom and found where everything was. She found his wallet, even after we moved it from its usual place, so it is terrible.
“We believe this started quickly, around October time last year, because money started going missing from my dad’s wallet at first.
“There was quite an amount of cash missing by the middle of December, around £300. This aroused our suspicions and we and the police had the cameras fitted.”
Mum-of-one Amanda, an education centre manager, from Solihull, West Mids., added: “My dad has had dementia for about 20 years.
“But it got worse last year so he and my mum needed support.
“He was not very mobile. My mum was struggling with her own ill-health and looking after dad.”
“My mum first discovered she stole from them on Christmas Day last year because the jewellery she specifically wanted to wear for the day was missing.”
“It was a matching set of jade earrings and necklace, which my dad had bought her.
“The police were very good and after they installed the camera, she was arrested within two weeks.
“She admitted she stole the jewellery as she had fallen into debt after a cocaine habit, not to support her children or buy food or anything sensible like that.”
“She had no remorse when she did this. The police could not believe she had no remorse.
“The jail term is a joke but no sentence will take away the pain and grief my family has been through.
“This has been particularly difficult for my mum, who now has Alzheimer’s herself.
“I do believe this is all because of the stress she has been through. I think the ordeal undoubtedly had a big effect on my father and contributed to his death.
“He was heartbroken because all his love was in that jewellery. But she will be free in a matter of weeks. It isn’t right at all”