A carer from Farnworth has admitted to stealing money from one of her clients after being caught in the act on camera. 

Tracy Swinbourne, 58, stole £100 from a woman in her care, 89-year-old May Heighway. 

Swinbourne, of Windermere Road, Farnworth, appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court on Thursday, December 7 and pleaded guilty to stealing the cash at the home in Bolton.

Prosecuting, Lee Woodyat said: "The complainant is 89 years old and her family requires care staff to attend at her house four times a day due to mobility issues. 

"Her daughter went on holiday in early August and left £250 at her address at the time. 

"She said it should last five to six weeks. Approximately a week and a half later, she received a call from her mother asking for more money. 

"This raised concern for the family and they installed a second camera." 

He added: "On the day in question, Ms Swinbourne unplugged the camera which she knew about and proceeded to take £100 out of the purse in the address, put the purse back and turned the camera back on. 

"She was not aware of the second camera. She had also turned the camera off on previous occasions, but did admit to the matter in police interview and in disciplinary proceedings with the care provider, saying she was testing the water when she turned it off. 

"She made a full admission when the care home provider came, saying going to be suspended she did hand the £100 back." 

He read out a victim personal statement from Ms Heighway's daughter Elaine Pearse, which said: "I feel manipulated and violated that this person of trust came into my mother's home, someone who chatted to us like friends. 

"She left my mum fearing for her safety. I am shocked someone would do this to someone they are supposed to care for." 

Defending, Adam Whittaker said: "This lady has not been in trouble in the courts since 1995 and she has lost her job. 

"She also returned the money to her employers and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity." 

He added that she had been placed under a "significant amount" of debt by her adult son, but admitted that the offence is a "significant breach of trust". 

Chair magistrate Susan Sutcliffe deferred sentencing to Bolton Crown Court, due to the vulnerability of the victim and that there was "some planning" in the offence due to Swinbourne turning the camera off. 

The case was adjourned until January 5. 

Ms Heighway's daughters Elaine Pearse and Yvonne Walsh spoke to The Bolton News following the hearing. 

Elaine said: "I am disgusted, absolutely disgusted that a carer in such a position can do that to an elderly lady, my mum. 

"Mayday (the care company) were absolutely great from when she was caught.

"They were absolutely fantastic, very supportive." 

Yvonne added: "You don't go stealing off an elderly lady."