A STAVERTON woman has been convicted of theft and fraud to the value of £35,000.

Donna Andrews, of Elm Close, was convicted following a Newton hearing at Winchester Crown Court on Friday.

The 53-year-old had been employed by a care agency back in 2008 and began caring for a man from North Bradley who was 58 at the time and had suffered several strokes. He was in need of personal and domiciliary care.

During her time as the man’s carer, Andrews fraudulently used his bank card to use gambling websites and buy flights to Nigeria in February 2009.

It was at the end of March 2009 when a friend of the victim went to purchase some items on his behalf using his card and noticed his account had been emptied.

The incident was reported to police and an investigation began.

While enquiries were ongoing, Andrews, who was living in Nigeria at the time, was jailed for six years after she was caught trying to smuggle drugs into Japan from Nigeria.

When she was transferred to a UK prison in 2015, our investigation was able to progress at a faster rate and concluded in court on Friday.

Detective Constable Keith Harford, of Central CID, said: “Andrews completely abused her position of trust. When she was supposed to be caring for this vulnerable man who had suffered serious ill-health, she was emptying his bank account to fund her own lifestyle.

“This has been a lengthy investigation but I am pleased that a Newton Hearing has finally resulted in Andrews being convicted.”

Andrews has been released on court bail and will be sentenced at a date to be fixed.

A Newton hearing or inquiry is a modern legal procedure in English law, used where the two sides offer such conflicting evidence that a judge sitting alone (that is, without a jury) tries to ascertain which party is telling the truth.

The victim in this case died in 2017.