Ann Dunning Norwich Crown Court

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A woman stole more than £ 4,000 from a critically ill victim who treated her like a girl, a court has heard.

Ann Dunning, 60, lived with the victim and her husband for 40 years and Norwich Crown Court learned that in addition to providing her with a home, they trusted her completely.

David Wilson, prosecutor, said when the victim fell ill and her husband was in a care home, she asked Dunning to make two cash withdrawals using his card and gave him the PIN.

However, Dunning, without his permission, then made further cash withdrawals over an 18-day period using the money to purchase Amazon Vouchers, DVDs, and other items for his personal use.

Mr Wilson said the case came to light after missing cash was found and police were made aware of it. He said Dunning made the unauthorized withdrawals amounting to £ 4,380.

Mr Wilson said Dunning also took out payday loans and said this could have been a motivation for his behavior as well.

He said the victim died in August 2019 during the investigation and her husband has also been deceased since.

Dunning, of Newton Close, Newton St Faith, near Norwich, admitted fraud between June and July 2019.

Condemning her, recorder Douglas Edwards QC told Dunning: “For 40 years you shared a house with the victim. Your relationship was that they saw you as something akin to a girl.”

He said: “It was a terrible breach of trust on your part.”

He said Dunning felt she was treated like an unpaid caregiver and missed out on life, but said there was no basis for her feelings.

He said that although there was no impact statement, it must have been devastating for the victim, as it did in the last few months of her life and involving someone she had treated like a girl.

Recorder Edwards imposed a 12-month community order and told him to do 200 hours of unpaid labor. There will also be a forfeiture hearing to recover the money she stole.

John Morgans, for Dunning, said she was previously of good character. He said it was her first experience in court, which she found terrifying.

“She feels bad for what she’s done.”

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