Carer caught on hidden camera stealing from Alzheimer's patient
A family caught a carer stealing money from an elderly woman with Alzheimer's after setting up a hidden camera.
Essex Police have released the footage showing Sharon Furner rifling through the handbag of the woman, who is in her 80s.
The victim's family had become suspicious that their mother was spending her weekly allowance very quickly so decided to investigate what was happening.
They set up the camera in the living room at her house in Colchester in March last year and were shocked that it captured the woman they trusted stealing £15 over two days, the force said.
Furner, 49, from Colchester, was found guilty of two counts of theft at Ipswich Crown Court earlier this week.
Investigating officer Pc Hayley Langmead said: "Furner targeted a vulnerable victim, aged in her 80s, and betrayed her trust.
"The family are relieved she has been convicted of this heartless crime and have made it very clear that they feel this is not about the amount of money that has been stolen, but the dishonesty from an individual who was in a position of trust.
"They hope that this conviction will prevent any other family having to go through the heartache that the court case has put them through and are shocked that Furner continued to deny the charges, despite the video footage, which was shown to the court."
Furner was given an 18-week jail term suspended for two years, fined £300 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80.
It is understood that Furner, who had been a carer for 20 years, had looked after the woman for about three years following her diagnosis with Alzheimer's.
The family had noticed money going missing for more than a year but did not at first believe it was being stolen, her trial heard.
They eventually decided to hide the camera in a clock and Furner was caught stealing within two days.