Carer defrauded Worcester widower of £300,000

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A carer has been found guilty of defrauding a vulnerable widower she was supposed to be looking after by stripping his estate of about £300,000.

Nozizwe Mlotshwa, 45, of Carstairs Close, Manchester, abused her position as carer to Dennis Breakwell who signed over his life savings and house to her.

Solicitors became suspicious when they found Mr Breakwell, 81, from Worcester, had no money when he died in 2008.

Mlotshwa was convicted of three counts of fraud at Hereford Crown Court.

She was released on bail and ordered to appear before the court again on 20 September for sentencing.

The case came to trial after the executors of Mr Breakwell's estate noticed all his financial paperwork was missing after his death in October 2008.

The retired civil servant from Geneva Close, Northwick, employed Harrison Clark Solicitors when his wife died in 1996.

Speaking after the two-and-a-half-week trial, Dawn Oliver, from the law firm, said: "We knew Mr Breakwell and we had had various dealings with him over the years.

"He was a very meticulous man. His finances were always kept in order and in all the dealings we had had with him as a client he knew exactly what he wanted.

"It came as quite a surprise to see that he didn't own his house any more and he didn't have any money left."

She said bank statements showed regular payments had been made to Mlotshwa, a former care agency worker, who had persuaded Mr Breakwell to pay her directly to be his carer after he suffered a stroke.

Speaking after the trial, Det Con Julie Williams of West Mercia Police said: "While crimes and investigations like this are extremely rare, it demonstrates just how a vulnerable and elderly person living on their own can fall prey to someone like Mlotshwa who, we are convinced, is a professional criminal who was coldly and coolly intent on befriending and then defrauding her victim."

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