A CARER who stole the life savings of a blind woman has been told she is facing a prison sentence.

Over 17 months, Julie Wilkinson, 36, stole £5,090 from the 76-year-old woman she helped to care for.

Wilkinson, who has no previous convictions, accepted the figure put by the prosecution at a previous hearing and admitted a charge of theft, covering the period from November 2002 to April.

She was said to have been trusted with the victim's bank cash card and Pin number, often using it to get money.

The thefts were discovered when the victim contacted her bank for a statement.

Sentence was adjourned for preparation of reports, but when Wilkinson returned to court yesterday, the hearing was told it has not been possible to prepare the medical reports.

Judge Michael Cartlidge adjourned the case for a fortnight to ensure the reports were completed.

But bailing the mother-of-two, of Malvern Crescent, Seaham, County Durham, he said: "Prepare yourself to go to prison. Stealing money from old folk for whom you care is very serious".

Wilkinson was taken on by the victim after social services suggested she would benefit from extra help.