Cheltenham cleaner Laticia Coursey stole thousands from clients
TRUSTED cleaner Laticia Coursey stole nearly £18,500 from her clients.
She took jewellery, blank cheques and electronic equipment from her victims' homes.
Laticia Coursey was spared an immediate jail sentence yesterday after pleading guilty to three charges of theft and another of fraud.
The 39-year-old also asked for five other matters from December 2011 until April 2012 to be taken into consideration.
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Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard Coursey, of Brooklyn Road in Hester's Way, had left the victims including 88-year-old Grace Balchin thinking twice about having cleaners in the future.
Katharine Skeet found £2,586 of items, including jewellery, an iPod and two cameras, missing from her Old Bath Road home between July and December last year.
The court heard Mrs Balchin was left shocked to discover the cleaner she had employed for four years had taken blank cheques from her.
She said that she had trusted Coursey completely.
In a victim statement Felicity Lacey, who had £15,000 of jewellery, including a £4,850 necklace stolen, during March and April 2012, said a cleaner was a necessity because of illness.
She said: "I feel so hurt and upset by what happened and dealing with the aftermath was so draining.
"I feel like I paid someone to enter my house and steal off me."
Prosecutor Sharon Jomaa said: "It was an abuse of trust and the prosecution says they were targeted victims."
Defending Nicola Berryman said Coursey had three children and her youngest son was aged 16 and still at school so dependent on her.
She said: "We have a range of thefts over the course of last year that do add up to a sizeable amount of money and a breach of trust. But I would urge the bench to suspended any prison sentence bearing in mind she has a dependant."
Coursey was working through agency Time For You, but left when she was arrested in April 2012 on suspicion of two thefts.
No prosecutions were bought forward and she continued working as a private cleaner before Mrs Lacey reported the missing items.
The court heard Coursey had been unemployed but was recently taken on again as a cleaner by another agency.
She was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years, along with a four month curfew from 9pm to 7am daily.
Magistrate, Natalie Hunt, said any claims for compensation would have to go through the civil courts.
Police Constable David Satchwell, of Gloucestershire police, said: "I hope yesterday's court result will provide the families with some form of closure and sends a message out that police will not tolerate this type of criminality."