A VOLUNTARY carer stole cash from a dying pensioner she had been looking after.

OAP Sally Mustow died “less peacefully” in hospital after learning the woman she had trusted had taken cash from her bank account.

Carer Joyce Mayley had used Mrs Mustow’s bank card three times to withdraw £400, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Matthew Jewell said that after Mrs Mustow, 69, had been admitted to hospital, her stepson discovered the money was missing.

Mrs Mustow said it must have been Mayley who had acted as an unpaid carer for her, and he reported the matter to the police. Judge Susan Evans QC chastised Mayley as she jailed her for 24 weeks.

She said: “This was a terrible breach of trust. Sally Mustow trusted you and as a result in part of what you did, she died not as peacefully as she should have done, but worried and distressed.

Money matters more to older people because they feel vulnerable in the latter stages of their life.”

Mayley, of Bursledon Road, Southampton, burst into tears at being told she was being jailed for three offences of fraud.

Roderick Blain, defending, said Mayley had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and was of previous good character.

He told the court her “fall from grace”

and conviction were difficult for her to bear and emotionally the impact of a prison sentence would be significantly greater.