A CARER helped herself to “cash back” on shopping trips on behalf of a client, a court heard.

Andrea Louise Kirkup previously denied four counts of fraud by false representation, relating to cash and goods she was accused of acquiring for herself while buying groceries for the 82-year-old woman she was paid to assist, in Newton Hall, Durham, on behalf of a home care company which employed her.

The case was twice previously listed for trial at Durham Crown Court last year, only to be put back due to difficulties which emerged with the hearing dates.

It was transferred to Teesside Crown Court, where, on the scheduled opening day, the 35-year-old defendant, of Poplar Lea, Brandon, changed her pleas to guilty to two of the four fraud charges.

Both related to sums obtained, totalling £183, using the client’s card, while shopping on her behalf at Sainsbury’s, at the Arnison Centre, Durham, on February 20 and 27, 2017.

Judge Sean Morris imposed a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, but ordered Kirkup to perform 250 hours’ unpaid work.

She was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to the victim’s daughter, who has power of attorney over her mother’s affairs.

Judge Morris recorded formal not guilty verdicts on the two outstanding charges still denied by Kirkup.