Carer rips off elderly victim
ANNE Barraclough is in shock after the 88-year-old Rockhampton pensioner was ripped off by her gay live-in carer.
Mrs Barraclough said she was more than $700 out of pocket after the carer and his lover betrayed her trust.
Police are investigating her claims, which include an allegation that last week he stole a $100 cheque she had put in a letter to a needy family member.
"I just think how low can you go?'' said Mrs Barraclough, whose husband, Jack, died four years ago.
"He has treated me rather shabbily. I said to the policeman: 'I know I won't get my money back but can you make him worry for a couple of days'.''
Mrs Barraclough advertised for a live-in carer in December because she was having problems with a troublesome hip.
Eight people applied for the position and four were interviewed.
Mrs Barraclough made her selection based on the man's background as a carer. The 22-year-old moved in and not longer after so did his lover.
She said she saw enough goings on between the pair "to fill three books''. After a few weeks she agreed to help them rent a caravan so they could move out and lent them $500. The next day the carer's lover ditched him and vanished with the money.
The carer has since told her that he would not repay the money, or another $100 he borrowed to buy a mobile phone.
But as bad as this is, the belief that the 22-year-old carer opened her letter and cashed the enclosed $100 cheque, prompted her to go to the authorities this week.
Bank officers informed Mrs Barraclough she should tell police.
"When you take people on when they are an absolute stranger you have to take them at face value,'' Mrs Barraclough said.
"At the start there were no problems, he seemed so good ... someone to help with my shopping, washing and getting my meals.''
The agreement was he would get lodging and food and a weekly wage of $100.
She said he regularly left her in the care of others, bought cigarettes and drinks with her money and ran up a large phone bill while she was in hospital.
"My goodness, I haven't met many people like him before,'' Mrs Barraclough said.