A local care company set a trap to catch an employee suspected of stealing cash from vulnerable clients.

Jessie Anne Elizabeth Thompson, 22, of Hayscastle, changed her plea to guilty the day before she was due to stand trial at Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

She pleaded guilty to stealing £20 belonging to Corbin Care Limited in Dinas Cross on July 20, when she appeared before the bench on Wednesday.

Abul Hussain, prosecuting, told the court that Thompson was a former employee of Corbin Care and her job involved caring for clients in their own homes.

The husband of an elderly dementia sufferer became concerned that money was going missing from their home.

He suspected Thompson was responsible and contacted the care company who placed two £10 notes in the couple’s kitchen cupboard after noting their serial numbers.

Thompson was searched when the cash disappeared, and she was dismissed from her job when the notes were found in her purse.

Mr Hussain said: “The breach of trust is clearly an aggravating factor.”

Probation officer Julie Norman told the court that Thompson planned to return to live in Spain after complying with any sentencing orders.

She added Thompson still denied taking the money despite her guilty plea, stating that it had been put there by another person.

Magistrates imposed a 12 month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work.

She was also ordered to pay £300 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

The chairman of the bench said: “It was a small amount of money, but you were in a high degree of trust because you were in the home of vulnerable people.”