A CARER who tried to break into a vulnerable woman’s home while she was alone inside has been branded “despicable” by her victim.

Joanne Walker has been jailed for 16 months for two counts of attempted burglary with intent to steal, after her victim caught her on CCTV attempting to break into her house .

Walker, aged 34, of Thirlmere Avenue, Horwich , had pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court.

Her victim, a 57-year-old stroke victim from Halliwell , told The Bolton News she had been left feeling “very vulnerable” after the incidents.

The woman, who has asked not to be named, was left paralysed down the left side by a stroke two years ago and is visited by a carer every day.

She said: “It has knocked me back. I didn’t realise how vulnerable I am.”

The mother-of-two is unable to wash herself and relies on carers from the Horwich-based care company Premier Care, to bathe her.

Shortly after she was discharged from hospital in 2011, her husband noticed £1,900 had gone missing from a cash box in the couple’s bedroom and a few days later they noticed £1,000 was missing.

They reported the missing money, which was to pay for building work to adapt the house for the woman, to the police who launched an investigation.

The couple spent £1,700 on CCTV.

Walker had cared for the woman until she was suspended in January this year after an investigation into thefts from customer’s homes .

She has not been charged with any thefts.

Investigating officer PC Michelle Holland, from Greater Manchester Police ’s Public Protection Unit, based in Astley Bridge , said: “She knew how vulnerable this lady is and what she had been through.

“Their lives have been devastated by this.”

John Regan, director of Premier Care said the standard criminal check carried out on Walker was clear and she was suspended when the accusations came to light.

Mr Regan said: “As an organisation we are truly sorry that someone in our employment could do such a thing.

“It is up to the organisation and our staff to now try to repair the trust and emotional pain this situation has caused.”

A spokesperson for Bolton Council , who have listed Premier Care on their online local directory, said: “All the home care agencies listed have to meet Care Quality Commission standards.”