Jail threat for woman who stole from dying pensioner

A THIEVING insurance worker who was entrusted with an elderly couple's finances has been told she faces jail after she stole nearly £20,000 from a dying pensioner suffering from dementia.

A court heard that Susan Tagg swindled 18,849 of 82-year-old Betty Grace's savings over an 18-month period as the victim's condition worsened until her death.

Tagg, who worked at a insurance firm which acted as an agent for the Halifax bank, would often visit Mrs Grace's home and went on to take a further 900 from her husband Sydney, 80.

Mrs Grace's son has now urged customers to check their statements after Tagg, 53, of Windmill Balk, Woodlands, Doncaster, admitted two counts of theft at the town's magistrates court.

Company director Chris Grace said his father never had any involvement in his parents' finances and it was not until he started examining statements after his mother's death that the theft was uncovered.

Mr Grace, 51, noticed money had gone out of the account, sometimes up to three times a week and often while his mother was in hospital.

He said: "We felt we needed to make this public and let people know what has gone on. Most people in the country keep their money in a bank, it is an integral part of society.

"This woman stole from my mum – it was calculated, she got to know my mum, she came round to our home and was even continuing to steal from her while she was lying on her death bed in hospital.

"She has got that on her conscience and she has got to live with that."

Mrs Grace's husband, who also lives in Woodlands, added that the cash Tagg took from him was money he was saving for his two grandchildren.

He added: "When I found out I couldn't believe it. We trusted her, she even visited my wife in hospital with me.

"My wife was a lovely woman and she trusted her. If she had still been alive today I am sure it would still be going on."

The court was told Tagg had been helping with the Grace's finances in her role at family-run insurance brokers Ideal Insurance, in Great North Road, Woodlands.

She stole varying amounts of cash from accounts between May 2008 and November 2009. Of the 1,000 Mr Grace tried to pay in, only 100 was deposited.

District Judge Jonathan Bennett was told that when Tagg realised she had been found out she tried to commit suicide.

She was arrested on November 1 last year and admitted she had been taking money and it had become more regular once she had become more friendly with Mrs Grace.

The court was told Tagg had since repaid the money and the judge adjourned sentencing to the Doncaster Crown Court later this month. Ideal Insurance, which now acts as an agency for Santander, refused to comment.