They were a far from caring couple.
Huddersfield home help Theresa Frost and her husband Paul have been found guilty of fleecing a pensioner.
Mrs Frost, a home help, has been convicted on 12 charges of defrauding an elderly man during a three-year period when she was looking after him in Huddersfield.
A jury at Leeds Crown Court yesterday found her unanimously guilty on 11 of the charges and by a 10-2 majority on a twelfth while working for Trevor Walshaw, now aged 81.
Mrs Frost, 44 of Stanley Road, Lindley was cleared by the jury on three further charges of fraud.
Her husband Paul, 53, was found guilty by a 10-2 majority on one joint charge relating to two loans in his name being paid off with £14,317 from Mr Walshaw’s account.
He was found not guilty on a further joint charge of fraud of attempting to transfer £112,761 from Mr Walshaw’s account to purchase a property in Huddersfield.
Both were granted bail for pre-sentence reports to be prepared but were warned by Judge Tom Bayliss QC that should not take the granting of bail as any indication of sentence.
“These are serious matters and at the forefront of my mind are custodial sentences but I will make my final mind up after reading the reports.”
During the trial the jury heard Theresa Frost met Mr Walshaw in 2009 when she was working for a company supplying cleaners and home helps. When she left that firm she said he asked her to continue shopping and cleaning for him at his home in Oakes.
She was then given control of his finances withdrawing cash using his card and PIN number and issuing cheques which he told the jury he signed because he trusted her. He also made her a beneficiary in his will.
Matthew Bean prosecuting said that trust was abused when Frost began using money or cheques for her own shopping and to pay for other items including her husband’s two loans.
Frost denied dishonesty and told the jury in evidence she would never have taken any money without Mr Walshaw’s approval.
She said he “was like a dad” to her. “We were very close, really good friends.”
He told her to spend his money when she wanted, and that included for holidays..
“He was always saying you might as well have my money because it is going to be yours at the end of the day. He said he didn’t want the Government seeing how much money he had in his accounts.”
“I wouldn’t take an old person’s money I am not that sort of person. All I wanted to do was help Trevor.”
She said when it looked as though he was going to have to go into a care home in 2012 he was upset and wanted to live with her and her family.
After a discussion it was decided to sell Mr Walshaw’s house in Huddersfield and their family home and buy another property where they could all live together. She said they tried to move £112,000 from proceeds of the pensioner’s home sale because it was to go towards the mortgage on the new property.
Mr Bean challenged her: “The reality is Mrs Frost when you found you were going to inherit his money you decided you were going to spend it before he died, not wait.”
She replied: “If I had wanted Trevor’s money I would have left him to die when I found him collapsed at home on the floor, I wouldn’t have taken him to hospital. I cared for him.”
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