A CARER who helped himself to almost £6,000 from a March stroke victim’s savings account and then fled the country has been jailed for 12 months.

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Joseph Okeowo, 59, of Juniper Crescent, London, stole a total of £5,900 in 12 separate occasions between May 2010 and January 2011.

He had been working as a live-in carer for the 56 year old at his home in Abbeygate Court, March.

Detective Constable Tade Toseland said: “This was a huge breach of trust by someone who was supposed to be caring for the victim and actually protecting his financial interests.

“He was given the victim’s savings book in order to withdraw money to pay for groceries and bills, but he abused the trust placed in him by taking money for himself.

“The victim relied on his savings to pay for holidays, but Okeowo’s actions mean he can no longer afford them.”

A fellow carer raised the alarm after spotting the cash missing from the victim’s account.

Okeowo was arrested but skipped bail and fled the country in November 2011. He was arrested at Heathrow in October last year.

He was charged with 13 counts of fraud by abuse of position, two counts of failing to answer bail and one count of fraud by false representation where he failed to disclose previous convictions in 2009 in order to gain employment.

He was jailed for 12 months at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday. The court heard he had paid £3,000 back to the victim.

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