Mother who stole £46,000 from her grandmother for gambling AVOIDS jail

Mother-of-two, 41, who stole £46,000 from her dementia-hit grandmother’s life savings and blew cash on betting spree AVOIDS jail despite family pleading with judge to punish her for ‘heinous’ crimes

  • Carrie Chadwick, 41, took almost £46,000 from her grandmother for gambling 
  • Grandmother Kathleen Lancaster at times had almost no food or clothing left  
  • Her family called Ms Chadwick’s actions ‘truly despicable, evil and unforgivable’
  • She avoided jail with two-year suspended sentence and 240 hours unpaid work 

A granddaughter who gambled away her elderly grandmother’s entire life savings has walked free from court despite her own family calling for her to be punished. 

The family of Carrie Chadwick, 41, blasted her for her ‘heinous and unforgiveable’ theft from grandmother and dementia sufferer Kathleen Lancaster.

Ms Chadwick took almost £46,000 over two and a half years after she was put in charge of Ms Lancaster’s finances when the widow was diagnosed with severe dementia.

Ms Lancaster’s TV and phone were repeatedly cut off during the thieving spree because she could not pay her bills.

She also had so little food at home she was left with nothing but soup and biscuits in her larder.

Carrie Chadwick, 41, leaving Bolton Crown Court. She was given a two year jail term with two years suspended sentence – allowing her to avoid prison 

Adam Dawber, Ms Lancaster’s grandson, said in a statement: ‘Carrie is pure evil for what she has done to this family. Gran’s health had deteriorated and she would often cry which was difficult for the family to hear.

‘My wife Kirsty and I tried to hold it together as we didn’t want Gran to see us upset. We took her out a few times but then had to stop because of Covid. 

‘Myself and Kirsty were affected by this as we too could not understand why Carrie would commit such an evil act, then we found out this had been going on longer than we knew. This is truly despicable, evil and unforgivable.

‘As a family Carrie has caused so much heartbreak it’s unreal. She has shown no remorse. Everything that Carrie Chadwick caused this family cannot be forgiven, ever.’ 

He added: ‘She will be judged by God himself.’

The frail pensioner was moved to a care home after a fall but was evicted after Ms Chadwick failed to pay any fees – leaving her with just a battered pair of slippers, one change of clothes and a handful of underwear to her name. 

Mrs Lancaster was able to settle in another rest home but died in June last year aged 85 after relatives exposed her grand-daughter’s betrayal.

Chadwick blew much of the cash on gambling and gaming platforms, including Betfred, Google Play, Ladbroke, Skybet and Tombola. 

At one stage she won £5,400 but splashed out on a car instead of repaying any of the stolen money.

Ms Chadwick blew much of her grandmother’s cash on gambling and gaming platforms, including Betfred, Google Play, Ladbroke, Skybet and Tombola, the court heard 

Ms Chadwick, from Wigan, avoided jail after being handed a two-year jail term with two years suspended sentence and 240 hours unpaid work at Bolton Crown Court. 

She told the court she had two vulnerable children to look after.

The court heard that Ms Lancaster had lived independently at her council house in Wigan until May 2016 when she was diagnosed with dementia.

Ms Chadwick was tasked with taking looking after her, including paying her bills and taking care of her finances, with access to her bank accounts.

Police discovered just one day after being given control of her grandmother’s Halifax account, Ms Chadwick transferred £1,500 to herself.

She used Ms Lancaster’s TSB account to made 203 payments on gambling websites, made cash withdrawals totalling £3,771 and used a further £4,504 for her own general living expenses.

She also took £24,111 in 137 withdrawals from her grandmother’s Post Office account – in all £45,799.87 was stolen with just £560 repaid. 

Philip Hall, prosecuting, said: ‘The family did have some concerns in 2017 when they noticed Kathleen’s Virgin TV and phone had been cut off on more than one occasion for non-payment of the bill and there was limited food in the house, such as just biscuits and soup.’

Rebecca Smith, mitigating, said her client was herself her a widow and had 13-year-old twins – one a son who has a genetic disorder and a daughter who has mental health issues. 

Ms Smith added: ‘She understands that the court will impose a custodial sentence today but I’m asking whether it could be suspended to allow her to care for her children and provide the only support network that they have.

‘Miss Chadwick has to live with the devastating consequences of taking the money from her grandmother. She didn’t have an opportunity to apologise or to say goodbye and she says by accepting responsibility she is showing the court that she is remorseful for the harm that she has caused.’

Sentencing, Chadwick Judge Martin Walsh said: ‘This was a mean and despicable offence committed against your vulnerable grandmother over a sustained period of time when you were in a high degree of trust.

‘But you are sole carer for twins aged 13 and I clearly have to have regard to the impact of any sentence upon them. You have escaped going to prison by the skin of your teeth and that has been afforded by your caring responsibilities for your two vulnerable children.’

Two other charges of theft and neglect against Chadwick were allowed to lie on file.

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