Carer stole £200,000 from multi-millionaire pensioner, 85

Tanya Benjamin (pictured, outside Nottingham Crown Court today), 60, stole £200,000 from a frail multi-millionaire pensioner she was looking after 

Tanya Benjamin (pictured, outside Nottingham Crown Court today), 60, stole £200,000 from a frail multi-millionaire pensioner she was looking after 

A carer who lived in her car with two dogs stole £200,000 from the frail multi-millionaire pensioner she was looking after.

Tanya Benjamin, 60, took blank cheques from the 85-year-old woman before filling them out and paying them into her own account.

Her scam was revealed when a friend of the victim noticed cheque stubs that had not been filled out.

Benjamin, from Stapleford in Nottingham, denied that she had taken the cash and claimed she was given it as gifts.

But a jury took just over two hours to convict her of two charges of theft and one of fraud at Nottingham Crown Court today.

The prosecution said she helped herself to blank cheques from her vulnerable victim, who lived alone and had various friends helping her.

Maltese-born Benjamin had begun working for the  woman, whose estate was worth around £4 million, six months earlier because she had mobility problems.

Edie Leonard, prosecuting, said she passed criminal records bureau checks and had a lengthy career as a carer. She first met the pensioner through a friend called Gillian.

After beginning work for the pensioner, the court heard the cheque fraud happened when the pensioner went into respite care over Christmas.

She had a friend who would keep an eye on her finances but said she was 'perfectly capable of looking after her own'.

The friend noticed that four blank cheque stubs in her cheque book that had not been filled in.

And her January bank statement showed a cheque for £160 had come out of her bank account in mid-December

Ms Leonard told the court The friend 'did not think too much about it', but the next bank statement showed

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