A WOMAN who was part of a team providing home care for a 95-year-old women systematically stole cash from her Post Office account.

Blackburn magistrates heard over a two-month period Sarah Coppock stole £2,430 belonging to Nora Bartholemew who suffered from dementia.

And the magistrates ruled the offence was so serious Coppock should be sentenced at the Crown Court.

Coppock, 44, of Helston Close, Burnley, pleaded guilty to fraudulent abuse of a position of trust. She was sent to Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced on March 30.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said Coppock was employed by a company called Astra Care who provided carers four times a day to look after Mrs Coppock.

"The victim does not have any family and Astra Care had control of her finances," said Mrs Yates.

"Another support worker attended to see Mrs Bartholemew and opened a Post Office statement in her presence. There were several suspicious transactions which she reported to the office."

Investigations revealed that Coppock was the only member of staff who attended on each of the 12 occasions when money was withdrawn.

She was suspended and when she admitted she had made the transactions her employment was terminated.

Ben Leech, defending, said his client had never been in any kind of trouble before.

"There is a significant amount of regret, shame and embarrassment as a result of this offence," said Mr Leech.

He said Coppock had never previously had any significant debts but found herself in a very difficult financial situation with the bailiffs chasing her.

"She should have made better choices but she hoped the money she took could be replaced in due course," said Mr Leech.