Cheryl Ann Stringer aged 54 of Woodstock Crescent in Woodley, Stockport, has been ordered to pay back the full amount, plus inflation, of the money she stole from her elderly victim while she was still alive to her surviving family, or face an additional jail sentence.

Minshull Street Crown Court made a confiscation order that Stringer pays £25,521.52 (which includes inflation from the total amount stolen) within three months, or faces a sentence in default of 6 months imprisonment.

The court also made a compensation order, which means those confiscated funds will be paid to the estate of the victim, Mrs. Anne Blackham.

Stringer is currently serving two years imprisonment for the fraud offence, which she was sentenced to back in November.

In December 2019, Mrs. Anne Blackham, 82, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer was moved into private accommodation from a care home in Stockport. Whilst living in private accommodation, she was provided daily care, and was receiving approximately four visits a day from care workers. Stringer was one of those care workers.

Mrs. Blackham’s nephew, who held power of attorney along with her solicitor, was responsible for providing his aunty with food and medical supplies, and had access to her online back account. On 23 January 2021, he logged into the account, and saw that £300 had been taken out in cash. He knew his aunt was bedbound, ad would have been unable to make that withdrawal herself.

He then checked Mrs. Blackham’s bank statements, and found that there were a large number of purchases and cash withdrawals from the account, including a payment to an electrical goods wholesaler.

He also learned his aunt’s bank card was missing, and put a stop on the account to prevent further transactions, reporting the matter to the police. In total, Mrs. Blackham’s bank card had been fraudulently used to make payments and cash withdrawals totally approximately £24,840.34 between November 2020, and January 2021.

Mrs. Blackham sadly passed away on 31 January 2021.

Stringer had purchased a number of appliances, using a debit card with a number matching Mrs. Blackham’s bank account.

CCTV recovered from supermarkets and bargain stores, also showed Stringer making cash withdrawals from ATMs and inside at the self-scan checkouts, that matched with transactions on Mrs Blackham’s account.

Stringer’s home address was searched where she was arrested, and admitted purchasing a number of items using Mrs. Blackham’s bank card, including a gas oven, a tumble dryer, candles, jewellery, clothing and a tablet device.

It was also clear that her home had recently had new carpets and curtains fitted.

Stringer’s assets were frozen, and she pleaded guilty at Stockport Magistrates Court on 18 October 2021 to an offence of fraud.

Recorder Timothy Hannan QC, upon sentencing, described this case as “an appalling case of cynical greed”, stating that Stringer had stolen money from her victim at the rate of nearly £2500 a week.

Financial Investigator Mark Chesters from GMP’s Stockport District said: “This was a despicable crime against not only a vulnerable elderly woman, but one that has deeply affected her family too.

“Ensuring that criminals do not profit from their conduct makes the point that not only will GMP do everything in its power to secure a conviction, but that whatever you take, you will have to pay it back. And I hope this sends a powerful message to anyone considering taking something that doesn’t belong to them.

“Fighting fraud is a relentless task, but we will continue to work diligently to strip the ill-gotten gains from criminals and I’d like to thank the public for continuing to support our work by reporting fraud, and sharing information. If you see something, or suspect something is wrong, tell us, and we can do something about it.”


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