A CARER who left a vulnerable old man overdrawn after using his bank card as if it her own has been jailed for a year.

Jill Lewis not only repeatedly withdrew cash from the 76-year-old's account but also used his details to get items from catalogues and online.

And the 50-year-old gran's deceit only came to light when she had emptied William Porter's account so he got into rent arrears on his sheltered accommodation.

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the defendant first met the victim when she was working for Sanctuary Housing providing care services for him.

In the summer of 2015 she left that job but continued to work privately as a carer for Mr Porter, who trusted her 'implicitly'.

She said he has physical problems, leaving him essentially wheelchair bound, as well and mental issues including depression and schizophrenia.

During the time he employed her he had been very generous towards her, giving her some gifts of money when he heard she had problems in her personal life.

Among her duties were occasionally withdrawing money from cash machines so he could pay his other bills, Miss Squire said.

But within months he went from having about £11,000 in the bank to being overdrawn and in the spring of 2016 he fell into rent arrears.

When Lewis used a cheque to clear the debt staff at the housing association became concerned and when they mentioned it to him he told them he had his suspicious.

The police were called and they found not only had she been using his bank account as her own, but she had also applied for a credit card and opened catalogue accounts in his name.

Miss Squire said she had not only been withdrawing cash for herself buy also used his card to buy petrol, pay bills and on a gambling website.

"She was using it as when she chose, to buy things or supplement her income," she said.

While the police had put the loss to the victim at £14,565 Miss Squire said the Crown accepted it was just under £10,000 as some of the withdrawals had his consent.

When she was questioned she did not accept she had acted dishonestly saying everything had been given to her.

Lewis, of Willows Avenue, Pinehurst, pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud, denying a fourth count of fraud and another of theft.

She denied accessing his ISA between December 7, 2015, and January 26, 2016, and stealing a cheque to the value of £2,500 in August 2015.

Peter Binder, defending, said that the total she took over seven-and-a-half months was £9,875.

She has the care for her six-year-old granddaughter, he said, has no previous convictions.

He told the court that she could not believe she had done what she did and was extremely sorry to have put him through it.

The court heard she said she needed the money to pay for legal fees as she sought guardianship of the youngster.

Jailing her Judge Tim Mousley QC said "You targeted a vulnerable victim. The impact was serious: it had a serious detrimental effect on him.

"At one point you have taken so much money from him he was overdrawn and of course he was a person who was particularly vulnerable."