Jail for St Albans fraudster who preyed on elderly lady
- Credit: Archant
A 25-year-old fraudster was jailed last week after cheating an elderly woman out of around £16,000 which she spent on “holidays and treating herself”.
Rubinah Rumjon, of Tamarisk Close, St Albans, stole from Jean Davies while she was working for Sage Care between December 1, 2010, and November 6, 2011.
And the case prompted Crown Court Judge John Plumstead to hit out at those who preyed on elderly and vulnerable people, particularly when their family thought they were safe in the hands of a carer.
As well as forging cheques to the amount of £14,491 Rumjon, a personal assistant, who now earns £40,000 a year, made a bank credit payment of £1,574.34 to herself.
She pleaded guilty to committing fraud and abusing her position of care at a hearing at St Albans Crown Court last Friday.
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The court heard the only item they could find that the money had been used on was a car which was still in her possession and cost £7,000. Rumjon’s victim was reinbursed for the stolen amount by HSBC.
Ms Faul, defending, said Rumjon had stayed out of trouble and had not reoffended since the crime. She maintained Rumjon had racked up a huge amount of debt from loans and was under a lot of stress because of her university course.
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Ms Faul went on: “She knew she would get caught. The last two times she tried to use the cheques they bounced. She was always waiting for the police to turn up at her door.”
A letter from Rumjon’s current employer was provided to the court and Ms Faul argued that if she were given a custodial sentence Rumjon
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would lose her job and be unable to reimburse the bank.
She added: “If she could put the clock back she would do. She can’t believe that looking back now that she come have been so stupid and so selfish. She didn’t carry it on – she stopped herself voluntarily.
Judge Plumstead stressed the fact that it had taken three years for the crime to come to light, purely because someone began looking through the victim’s affairs.
Sentencing, he said: “This lady was helpless and your client rifled through her property. Mrs Davies was not only over 80 but had a lot of problems which meant that she really didn’t get out at all and needed help, and you were able in this circumstance to look at this vulnerable woman and see her as an opportunity.
“In your letter to the court you’ve indicated you’ve tried to deal with problems face on and this was a one time error of judgement. It wasn’t, it was a determined case of taking advantage of the vulnerable, of a helpless old lady.
“The beleaguered elderly are an important part of our community and they can’t cope with those who prey on them. If she had full control of her finances you wouldn’t have been able to do this. Her family thought they were safe in the knowledge that she was receiving regular care; in fact you were betraying her.
“An admission of your plea of guilty is the only real mitigation in this case. You had committed these offences not just for paying off loans but going on holidays and treating yourself. And you thought you’d got away with it. You hadn’t.
“If you really did feel bad, you say you’re now in a job earning £40,000 a year and yet no repayment has been made. You profess a wish to compensate, but is just that, it is a wish.”
Rumjon was sentenced to two years imprisonment which was reduced to 15 months due to her guilty plea. As it was her first time in prison she will only serve half the sentence.