An elderly couple who were inseparable for 63 years were forced to spend their final days in separate care homes – after their carer robbed them of their savings.
Cruel Frankie Yeoman persuaded dementia sufferers Beryl and Mervyn Bevan to hand over their PIN number before using their bank card for shopping sprees.
But when their family became suspicious of the withdrawls and police were called the devoted couple were placed into emergency care by social services.
They were forced out of their home of 45 years and moved into different care homes because no space was available to house them together.
The couple, both 86, ended up being shunted between nine different care homes for more than a year – and were never reunited before Mervyn died two months ago.
Ironically, he passed away on September 30 – the day Yeoman went on trial at Bristol Crown Court for defrauding them of £1,750.
But despite being found guilty of one count of theft and 12 of fraud, the callous 27-year-old walked free with a suspended sentence.
Now their daughter Dr Helen Bevan has described the “utterly devastating” effect of her crimes.
She said: “Frankie Yeoman deliberately targeted our parents on the basis of their vulnerability, at a time when it was her professional duty as their carer to support them.
“She was trained and paid to protect them, yet she used the opportunity of being part of their lives to prey on them, to steal from them and to defraud them.
“Our parents were married for 63 years. They were in a truly happy partnership, never walking down the street without holding hands.
“They should not have been so brutally thrust into a care situation in the way they were, with the result that there were no options.”
“Our hope was that they would have had just one move after they left their own home and that they would have been able to live together for the rest of their days.”
The court heard how Beryl, a former NHS domestic assistant, has Alzheimer’s and Mervyn, a former serviceman and craftsman, had a neurological condition.
They were housebound but did not want to move out of their home of 45 years in Stapleton, Bristol.
When Yeoman was appointed to look after them she manipulated the couple, lavishing them with cakes they didn’t need until they trusted her enough to disclose their PIN.
It was only when daughter Dr Bevan noticed cash was regularly being withdrawn from their account that the alarm was raised.
The grandparents-of-six were initially placed into emergency care together but because of their specific needs they soon needed to move to different homes.
In total, Beryl was shunted between five different homes and now lives with her son. Mervyn was moved between four homes before his death.
She also added that her father had died on September 30, this year – on the first day of Yeoman’s trial into the thefts – adding further heartbreak for the family.
Dr Bevan added: “It wasn’t Frankie Yeoman’s fault that dad died on that date, but it was her fault we were all in court, going through the ordeal of a trial at the time of his death.
“Our parents were honest, lovely, gracious people who grafted all their lives.
“They didn’t choose to have the illnesses they had, but they did deserve respect and honesty from the people who were meant to be helping them.”
Jonathan Stanniland, mitigating, said Yeoman, of Montpelier, Bristol, was a single parent on low pay, who was performing demanding work.
Yeoman, who carried out her crimes in early 2014 when she worked for Agincare, put her head in her hands and wept as she was sentenced on Tuesday.
But Judge Julian Lambert said he would have “mercy” because of her innocent five-month-old daughter, and suspended the sentence for two years.
He ordered that she carry out 300 hours unpaid work, be under supervision for two years and have a curfew from 9pm to 5am for nine months.
“You abused that couple in their later years and the damage you did was very extensive,” the judge told Yeoman.
“Your actions created an environment of suspicion and mistrust which was highly damaging to all those around.
“This was utterly despicable conduct preying on the elderly.”
Following sentencing PC Tracey Champion of Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: “This crime has had a devastating effect on both elderly victims and their family.
“Yeoman was in a position of trust which she totally abused and was motivated by her own greed.”