‘I should not have pleaded guilty’, says theft carer
7:47am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Local
A WOMAN convicted of stealing almost £8,000 from a frail pensioner claims she only pleaded guilty because she was “too depressed” to stand trial.
The Bolton News reported on Saturday how Lisa Foster was spared jail after being convicted of theft.
Bolton Crown Court heard how blind 81-year-old Frank Kilfoyle had been left with no food in the house as Foster used his cash to buy DVDs and CDs, and that between January, 2010, and November, 2011, Foster, a family friend who acted as his “unofficial carer”, helped herself to almost £8,000 of his cash.
But Foster, a mature student, claims that only £4,000 went missing from his account, and claims it was a loan.
She said she only pleaded guilty because she was too depressed to stand trial.
Mrs Foster said: “I knew Frank for a long time and used to look after him. I made sure he got his money on time.
“I was devastated about the verdict and about what happened to Frank.
“I suffer from depression and anxiety and couldn’t face a trial so I pleaded guilty.”
She said: “I’m sorry for what happened to Frank, and I hope the family can forgive me for all the upset this has caused. I do regret not standing trial now. I would never let anyone starve.” The court was told Mr Kilfoyle had trusted Foster, aged 31, to help him with his finances, giving her his bank card and pin number and asking her to withdraw £100 per month for him and to do his food shopping.
But the court heard that instead, over a two-year period, she plundered his account, eventually leaving Mr Kilfoyle with no food and, in desperation, asking for help from the authorities.
Social workers who visited Mr Kilfoyle’s ground floor flat in Enfield Close, Halliwell, found him unkempt, with no food in the kitchen and with a pile of unpaid bills.
Mr Kilfoyle died in January last year, less than two months after Foster was arrested, by which time his family said he weighed less than seven stone.
Foster, of Spa Road, Bolton, pleaded guilty to theft and was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years, along with 100 hours’ unpaid work.