Pensioner holds no grudge against rogue carer Maureen Blackwell
FRAUD victim Maggie Russell insists she holds no grudge against a carer who stole part of her life savings.
The 64-year-old, of Marina Court, Tewkesbury, who has cerebral palsy and needs 24-hour care, fell victim to rogue carer Maureen Blackwell.
Between April 2010, and February 2011, she defrauded wheelchair-bound Mrs Russell of almost £16,500.
Blackwell used her position of trust to withdraw cash directly from Mrs Russell's bank account.
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When she was caught out, she denied 13 charges but was convicted at Gloucester Crown Court in May of all but one of them. The following month she was sentenced to 30 months in jail.
Now Mrs Russell has spoken for the first time about the case.
She said: "I felt awful and upset as I thought it wasn't right. I don't like thieves.
"She was my carer for two-and-a-half years. I thought it was a bit weird when she was taking money from my bank account but I trusted her. She was here most days but she won't be coming back.
"But I've got no grudge against her. It's in the past. Today's today and tomorrow's tomorrow.
"She's done wrong and she's been punished. She's suffering enough in prison. I feel sorry for her in a way, but she did wrong and has to pay the consequences."
Mrs Russell revealed that she had received some of the money she lost back, via a victims' compensation scheme.
The pensioner is originally from Lydney but has lived in Marina Court for nearly five years.
She also said that despite her own personal financial loss, she was happy to raise money for charity.
As she is confined to a wheelchair, exercise is out of the question but by doing a sponsored slim, she raised £336 for the Midlands Air Ambulance.
She said: "It's my favourite charity. I lost 3st 6lbs over a year as my carer made sure I didn't eat sweets and chocolate."
And she added that she was keen to continue raising money for the charity, though she would take a break first because she had been suffering from a chest infection.
Once she has recovered though, she said she might aim to get sponsored for standing up – something her condition has not enabled her to do for some time, since she had to stop moving about by using a walking frame.
Mrs Russell, who will turn 65 next month, said: "I would like to get sponsored for taking a step. I would like to do that – just to stand up, take a step and sit back down again."