A CARER was jailed after stealing more than £200,000 from a 100-year-old widow to treat herself to luxury holidays.

Rhian Horsey, 55, plundered the life savings of Iris Samson and forced her to remortgage her home so she could spend on "extravagances".

A court heard Horsey made "sudden and significant" withdrawals from her bank account – taking £500-a-time from cashpoints and writing cheques out to herself.

Police investigated Horsey's spending to find she was "living a lifestyle beyond her means" – and "extravagances including luxury holidays".

South Wales Argus:

Rhian Horsey was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court today (Picture: Wales News Service)

Prosecutor James Wilson said: "The main source of the cash that followed into Horsey's bank account was Mrs Sansom.

"She had taken cash from the bank for personal benefit. Horsey systematically exploited and defrauded."

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Mr Wilson said Horsey started caring for Mrs Samson at her home in Cardiff after she suffered a heart attack.

He said: "Despite her age she remained living on her own in the house she built with her late husband.

"She did require some care. Her daughter unable to provide her mother with all her care needs so from 2003 to 2017 Rhian Horsey worked for Mrs Sansom as her carer.

"She started staying the night. She did this three nights a week. She received £480 per month – £40 a night."

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Cardiff Crown Court heard an investigation started when Mrs Samson's daughter Kathryn Taylor became aware of the repeated withdrawals from her mother's account – including several at £500-a-time.

Mr Wilson said: "She became concerned Horsey had taken advantage of her mother."

The court heard Mrs Samson also allowed Horsey to make cheques out to herself for her wages, but some were found with payments of up to £3,0000.

Horsey was interviewed and said any money withdrawn was done so legitimated to pay for the running of her household.

When interviewed by police, Mrs Samson said: "I trusted her completely."

She added "She had access to everything – I trusted her with all my finances.

"She helped me as I was unable to do much myself. She would help me with washing and she used to cream my feet for me.

"I would go to bed quite early and she would do something with the finances and would come down and have a cup of tea and watch television.

"It became something to look forward to and she seemed to enjoy it as well. I thought she was my friend."

Horsey, of Groesfaen, near Cardiff, denied seven counts of fraud between 2011 and 2017 totalling £226,300 but was convicted by a jury after a four-week trial.

The judge, Recorder Mark Cotter QC, told Horsey: "You were a viper" and "aggressive and unrelenting" in her thefts.

He added: "You were dishonest and deceitful and driven by greed.

"If she had had an honest carer instead of you she would still have that money and still have equity in her house."

Horsey was jailed for five years.