A MILFORD Haven woman described by a judge as no stranger to dishonesty has been jailed for a “vile” breach of trust.

Pearl Compton, aged 59, had been a carer to a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis but took advantage of the trust placed in her to steal £5,785.

Compton, of Marble Hall Road, admitted 20 offences of fraud and was jailed for ten months.

Swansea crown court heard that Heather Gough, also 59, had relied on roundthe- clock care and came to trust Compton with her cheque book.

Compton was secretly hooked on playing online bingo and had fallen behind with her rent.

Paul Hobson, prosecuting, said Compton had been allowed to sign Miss Gough’s name on cheques to pay legitimate bills but began making out cheques to herself and to her landlady. The offending went on for 14 months until another carer became suspicious after she found a bank statement had been torn up and put into a bin.

Mr Hobson said Miss Gough was an intelligent lady but she depended entirely on her carers.

In a victim impact statement Miss Gough said she now found it difficult to trust anyone.

Compton’s barrister, Carina Hughes, said she had got into debt by playing online bingo and, as well as stealing from Miss Gough she had also spent her husband’s life savings.

“She wants to apologise to Miss Gough publicly. It was a massive breach of trust,” she said.

Judge Peter Heywood said he noted that Compton had previous convictions for conspiracy, falsely claiming benefits, obtaining property by deception and other acts of dishonesty.

“You are not a lady of previous good character. I can’t overlook the effect that this gross and vile breach of trust has had on her [Miss Gough].

“You are no stranger to dishonesty when it suits you,”

he added.