A man has been ordered to pay £20,000 compensation to a pensioner whose savings his partner stole while working as her home help.

Gillian Kennedy, 36, of Little Green Lane, Heckmondwike was jailed for two and a half years last month after a jury at Leeds Crown Court found her guilty of stealing the money belonging to Margaret Senior, 87.

The court heard she started going to the home of the pensioner three times a week from July 2014 after she was diagnosed with dementia and was becoming increasingly frail. Mrs Senior subsequently had a fall and went into a home.

A friend knew Mrs Senior had hidden savings in bundles of £1,000 under a piece of wallpaper on top of her wardrobe but it had all gone missing by October that year and the pensioner was too frail to have got it herself.

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Inquiries showed that between July and December 2014, £19,585 in cash was paid into Kennedy’s account and that some had then been used to pay off part of the mortgage in the name of her partner Patrick Sean Hodge. A sofa had also been bought for £1,422 in cash.

Hodge, 46, of the same address, was found guilty by the jury of converting criminal property and he was jailed for nine months.

Today Michael Jowett representing Hodge said he had £20,000 in his bank account available to pay Mrs Senior compensation.

Recorder Ray Singh ordered that money should be paid within four months and postponed a proceeds of crime hearing until September 26 for that to be done.

He told Kennedy over a video link to HMP Askham Grange that the proceeds of crime application would not be necessary if the money was paid in compensation.