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Thief conned blind pensioner
7:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Headlines
AN alcoholic stole more than £6,000 from a blind pensioner who trusted her to do his shopping for him, but her victim says he feels only pity for her.
Alan Grandfield, 75, accepted an offer from neighbour Kim Spreadbury to do his weekly shopping for him but for six months she was helping herself to his savings.
Mr Grandfield, of The Friary, Salisbury has struggled to manage on his own since his wife died in 2008 and was grateful when Spreadbury offered to help him with his shopping in 2010.
Shopping At first Mr Grandfield went on the shopping trips with her, but eventually he gave her his card and pin number so she could pick things up for him.
“It seemed to be working all right,” he said. “It wasn’t until about six months later that the card didn’t get returned to me.”
In need of some money, Mr Grandfield went to his bank and found that his balance had dropped dramatically. The bank urged him to report it to the police and staff worked out that Spreadbury had been removing about £1,000 a month from cashpoints around the city centre.
DC Amanda Warren from Wiltshire Police said: “This was a despicable act of dishonesty. The victim relied on the support of his neighbours to help him with his shopping and trusted Spreadbury with this simple task.
“She abused his trust and more than £6,000 was fraudulently taken from his account. There is no excuse for this behaviour.”
Spreadbury, 47, of The Friary, pleaded guilty to theft at Salisbury Crown Court last month and was given a nine-month suspended sentence.
She was also handed a drink rehabilitation order and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.
Her husband Nigel was also charged with theft but died in May 2012.
Mr Grandfield said: “She did ask once if she could use my card to buy four cans of lager for Nigel. I didn’t realise at the time that she’s an alcoholic.
I was very disappointed because I had put my trust in both of them and to be treated like that is a bit awkward.”
M r Grandfield hasn’t spoken to Spreadbury since the police got involved but has no anger towards her.
“I feel sorry for Kim; she’s had a very hard life. I hope she succeeds in rehab because she’s basically a nice girl.
“The sad part is that her husband died halfway through all this and I couldn’t go round to see her as a friend.”