A care assistant who used the bank card details of elderly dementia sufferers to treat herself to luxury items and to pay off her debts has been jailed.

Tracy Elwell, 45, of Denny Avenue, Waltham Abbey, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation before receiving two 14-week consecutive sentences.

She was also ordered to pay £1,540 in compensation to her victims at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Friday, June 14.

Investigating officer DC Ed Massey, of Essex Police’s Volume Fraud Team, said: “Elwell was in a position of trust as a professional carer.

“While she was out helping vulnerable, elderly people in their homes, she noted their credit card details and then used them for online transactions.

“She bought a laptop computer, ordered hundreds of pounds worth of clothes and attempted to pay off her own credit cards.”

The total value of the fraudulent transactions was £4480, with some refunded back to the victim.

In September 2018, a relative of the victim saw some unusual activity on bank statements and immediately suspected a fraud had taken place before calling police.

Officers then found that the bank card details had been used by Elwell, who had cared for the man, who is in his late 80s.

Police arrested Elwell on Tuesday, March 12, and during a search of her home, they found bank statements in the victim’s name.

Bank statements in the name of an elderly woman with dementia who was also cared for by Elwell was found and contacted her family to make them aware.

DC Massey added: “Elwell took advantage of the elderly people she was meant to care for.

“A vigilant family member spotted her crimes and called us and now she faces time in a prison cell.

“We believe there could be more victims and we would urge anyone with information to call our Volume Fraud Team on 101 or report it online by visiting www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”