South East Wales

Kelly Billen stole £20,000 from Hirwaun neighbour

Kelly Billen Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption The court heard Kelly Billen ripped up floorboards and overturned furniture looking for valuables

A woman who stole almost £20,000 from an elderly neighbour only has to repay £5 after spending the proceeds.

Kelly Billen, 35, ransacked the home of Richard Jones, 94, in Hirwaun, Rhondda Cynon Taff, while he was away.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard the amphetamine addict cashed in the dementia sufferer's premium bonds worth £19,426.

Billen was jailed for three years and three months after admitting burglary and eight counts of fraud.

The former care worker must pay the £5 within six months or face another seven days in jail.

Lucy Crowther, defending, said: "Debts were increasing, she relied more on amphetamine and that is frankly what swallowed her."

Mr Jones now lives in a care home and "remains unaware" of what happened, the court heard.