A woman who conned vulnerable adults out of almost £1million is now serving seven years behind bars.
Former care worker Diana Turner used the money she siphoned from her ten victims, who required daily care, to buy houses and numerous high performance cars over a period of ten years.
Turner, 53, was employed as an assistant and care worker at a complex in Sheffield, housing residents with various vulnerabilities.
Her job was to provide day-to-day care, however in 2006 Turner became more heavily involved in the running of the business when the owner was forced to take time off due to sickness.
During this time, Turner manipulated the banking and tax credit systems for weekly payments owed to the victims from the council.
Detective Constable James Hughes, the investigating officer, explained: “Over ten years, Turner selfishly and shamelessly took advantage of the vulnerable residents, taking possession and control of their bank cards making regular – and often daily – bank withdrawals to fund the lavish lifestyle she was leading.
“She also set up standing orders from the victims’ accounts to subsidise that lifestyle, which saw her buying a static caravan worth almost £60,000, two properties in Dubai, three properties in England and numerous holidays to the Middle East.”
In 2016, the business owner returned to work and discovered that some residents’ bank accounts had been linked to Turner’s. He immediately alerted the police and Turner was dismissed soon after.
DC Hughes continued: “During a three-year investigation, extensive banking data was analysed and the full extent of her fraudulent activity became known – it was believed that she took possession of a total of almost £923,000 from the ten vulnerable residents and benefitted herself from £640,000.
“All of the residents she took advantage of are vulnerable due to their age, mental health, or due to substance abuse issues and many struggle to operate daily functions – they relied on her to get through life every single day and she callously took advantage of that.”
Turner, of Ecclesfield Court, Sheffield, has been on trial at Sheffield Crown Court for the last month. On Monday 1 April, the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts to two counts of fraud by position of trust.
She was back before Sheffield Crown Court this afternoon (Wednesday 3 April), for sentencing after being remanded by the judge following conviction. She was jailed for a total of seven years.
DC Hughes said: “Turner’s assets have now been frozen and we will look to recover these under the Proceeds of Crime Act, with the hope of reimbursing her victims of their financial loss.
“The decade of control she exercised over the victims is absolutely abhorrent and I hope that they feel some comfort in knowing she has been jailed. Sadly, one of the elderly victims passed away before the trial and so they never got to see her brought to justice.
“To abuse her position as a carer with people who trusted her implicitly is absolutely disgusting and I’m pleased that the jury returned guilty verdicts and she will now serve a basic lifestyle in prison.”