Spalding

Care worker who stole from disabled Spalding man arrested in Italy after nine years on run

A care worker who fled abroad after stealing hundreds of pounds from a disabled man was tracked down and arrested after nine years on the run, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Anette Jakobsen was eventually traced to Perugia in Italy where she was arrested in July.

She then contested her extradition back to the UK before losing an appeal and being returned to this country.

Sam Skinner, prosecuting, said that in July 2008 Jakobsen was employed to work as a carer for Shaun Grooby who was paralysed after suffering a fractured neck in a car accident in 1985.

But within two weeks of taking up her role Jakobsen began stealing from Mr Grooby, who lives in the Spalding area, after she was entrusted with his bank debit card so that she could withdraw cash to do his shopping and pay his bills.

Mr Skinner said: “The defendant used the complainant’s bank cards to steal from him.

“Mr Grooby has to be looked after in his own home. He has live-in carers. He is particularly vulnerable. He has to place a great deal of trust in his carers.

“Within about a fortnight Jakobsen was stealing from him using his debit card to make withdrawals from cash machines.

“By mid-August 2008 another carer noticed that Mr Grooby’s bank balance had reduced considerably.”

Jakobsen was confronted about the missing money and promised to repay the cash.

The bank cards were taken off her to prevent further thefts but were then given to another carer who shared a house with Jakobsen.

As a result Jakobsen managed to get hold of the card again and went on to steal more money over the next 10 days.

Jakobsen was subsequently arrested and charged but failed to appear before Grantham Magistrates’ Court in 2010.

A warrant was issued for her arrest and she was eventually detained in Italy.

The court heard that in the interim period Jakobsen was convicted in her home country of Denmark for offences including embezzlement and perverting the course of justice.

Jakobsen, 33, of Horsens, Denmark, admitted 13 charges of fraud committed between July 22 and August 28, 2008.

She was jailed for 12 months and given an indefinite restraining order banning her from contacting Mr Grooby.

Recorder Gareth Evans QC, passing sentence, told Jakobsen: “This was a gross breach of trust. He was a very vulnerable man and I believe you targeted him.”

Alison Summers, in mitigation, said that Jakobsen has already served the equivalent of a 10 month jail sentence after being remanded in custody following her arrest in Italy.

She urged that Jakobsen should receive a sentence which allows her to return to her three children in Denmark as soon as possible.