A CARE home manager has been jailed for five years after trying to cheat two elderly residents out of £400,000.
A court heard how Beverley Jeffs falsely claimed that retired Rolls-Royce engineer Geoffrey Mansfield was her "long lost dad" who left her £300,000 in his will.
But a jury took just an hour to decide the will was a forgery.
They unanimously found her guilty of eight counts of fraud and two of theft from residents of Overseal Residential Home, Woodville Road.
At Derby Crown Court yesterday, Judge Michael Fowler told her: "It is hard to imagine a greater and more despicable breach of trust and demonstration of dishonesty.
"In your case, you persisted over a long period of time and the effect was the victimisation of extremely vulnerable people.
"It is hard to imagine a more thoroughly dishonest and persistent episode of theft and fraud."
The judge said Jeffs, 52, of Bretby Hollow, Newhall, had also "pillaged" the bank accounts of Eileen Bull, 90, to "fund a better lifestyle" for herself.
The judge added: "It is a catalogue of dishonesty characterised by sophistication in the use by you of forgery.
"You laid a false trail to avoid conviction."
The court was told she received about £119,000 from her offending but then Mr Mansfield's will was declared invalid.
Mr Mansfield died at the age of 82 in April 2009.
Darren Preston, defending, said Jeffs would miss the birth of her second grandchild and would find prison difficult. He said: "The only mitigation is her age and good character."
Justin Wigoder, prosecuting, said proceedings would be started to claw back lost cash.
He previously said that Jeffs had made a mistake over a greetings card which she said contained two cheques worth £41,000 from Mrs Bull.
He said the cards had not been written at the same time as the cheques were produced.
The jury found Jeffs and three other defendants not guilty of converting criminal property by changing ownership detail of a Vauxhall Tigra car.
They were her daughter, Rachael Jeffs, 31, of Barley Close, in Burton, Rachael's partner, Michael Holdcroft, 22, of the same address, and Susan Ashby, 64, of Old Market Place, in Newhall.
Sourced from This Is Derbyshire, 28th March 2012.