AN NHS nurse who swindled an elderly widower out of £22,000 to fund her gambling addiction was ordered to pay her victim just £1 in compensation.

Isabel Arantes conned retired Newport fireman Peter Wilson after raiding the 82-year-old’s savings account.

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The 59-year-old defendant from Newport was spared jail last year after she was given a suspended prison sentence.

Portuguese national Arantes, of Grosmont Way, was back before a judge for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

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Cardiff Crown Court heard how she benefited by £22,395 from fleecing Mr Wilson but has no assets which can be seized to compensate him.

She was ordered to pay a nominal amount of £1.

Arantes has 28 days to hand over the cash or face a month in prison.

During her sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court in October 2020, Susan Ferrier, prosecuting, said: “The victim had hired the defendant on the recommendation of a neighbour.

“She worked for him as a cleaner or took him to medical appointments.

“Mr Wilson is a widower and he would spend a month at a time in his flat in Newport before spending two or three months in France.”

The victim was oblivious to Arantes draining him of cash until he was visited by detectives in the autumn of 2019.

Gwent Police had been contacted by Action Fraud over suspicious activity on one of Mr Wilson’s accounts.

Ms Ferrier said: “When the defendant was arrested, she told officers, ‘I didn’t steal anything.’

“A search of her home and electronic devices uncovered the username and password to the victim’s account.

“She said Mr Wilson had authorised the transactions and that it was ‘like a loan’.

“The defendant had a £1,800 credit card debt and she claimed she asked him to assist her with this.

“She said she had gambling problems and needed to pay for this. She said Mr Wilson did not know the money was for gambling and shopping debts.”

Late last December, Arantes emailed a detective to tell him of her anxiety that she would end up in court.

Ms Ferrier said the defendant wrote: “I am suffering a lot from this situation. I borrowed money because I had been gambling in casinos.

“People ask for miracles at Christmas. I feel like a child asking for miracles.”

In a victim impact statement, Mr Wilson said: “I feel embarrassed and ashamed. I feel so stupid. I feel so gullible because I trusted her.”

Arantes pleaded guilty to fraud, the offence being committed between January and October 2019.

She was a woman of previous good character with no convictions recorded against her.

Gareth Williams, mitigating, said: “The defendant came to the UK in 2008 from Portugal and she qualified as a nurse with the NHS and has worked in care homes.

“She is devastated by what she has done. I would ask the court to consider her previous good character, her public service and the fact she is remorseful.

“She won’t be employed by the NHS anymore.”

The defendant was jailed for 18 months, suspended for 18 months.

She was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.