A MILFORD HAVEN woman was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work after stealing £1,324.12 from her grandparents at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Jodie Farrow, aged 24, of Charles Street, pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud and a charge of theft after stealing a considerable amount of money from her grandparents, Harold and Jeanette Evans.
Prosecuting, Ellie Morgan said: “Jeanette and Harold Evans had received a bank statement from their joint account and noticed there was £1,000 missing. She then realised that her bank card and her cheque book were missing.
“After checking their two previous statements, they noticed that cheques had been paid and cash withdrawals had been made other than somebody by themselves. Farrow’s grandfather contacted the bank, and found that a cheque for £150 had been paid to Gary Phillips. They realised then that their granddaughter was likely to be responsible, as Mr Phillips is her landlord.
“Farrow’s grandmother had previously been in hospital and saw that transactions had been made around that time and at other times when it couldn’t have been them. They also remembered that when they received their pin number, Mrs Evans was unable to read it, therefore asked Farrow to read it to her.
In custody, Farrow said: “The cheque book is in my old bedroom at my nan’s house”. She had disposed of the card. She was asked to provide an explanation, she said that she didn’t realise she had made so many transactions. The total taken from her grandparent’s account was £1324.12, a combined sum from the cheques and card transactions”.
Defence solicitor, Michael Kelleher said: “It’s a very sad case for all concerned. Her grandfather won’t speak to her and her grandmother is very disappointed and she was previously of clean character. It’s not a sophisticated crime and it’s difficult for her to explain why she did it. There were small amounts of money she owed and it was a way of paying it off”.
A full probation report was prepared by probation officer, Julie Norman, who said: “Farrow has been fully co-operative, and up until September led a normal life. She lost her job and had no money, and her boyfriend was in custody, therefore she was left in the flat on her own. She had debts and it was too embarrassing to speak to her grandparents. She does occasional bar work and is currently actively looking for work”.
The chair of the bench told Farrow: “I’m grateful you have been co-operative, but the sad thing is if you had have spoken to them, they probably would have given the money to you”.
Farrow was given 200 hours unpaid work and has to pay compensation of £1324.12. Farrow also has to pay £85 cost and £60 victim surcharge, which will be deducted from her benefits at £5 per week.